Monday, October 31, 2011

On the Road Again

The D-day of  our departure is finally here. The last thing to do is shutting off the power in the house and hitching on the trailer. Neighbors have come by to say their fare wells. Oh yeah, they wouldn't want to miss the show. The street is clogged with vehicles, but who cares. This Campobello and Island-Time!
Yesterday's storm is over, the sky is deep blue and the air pretty darn cold.
The storm did some damage on our bedroom awning as it  almost tore loose the entire fabric. I had to get the ladder, climb up there and remove the fabric. We're gonna get a new one down in Yuma.
Coastal Highway 1 
Checking the lights on the trailer, it turns out one side is not working. After some wriggling, turning and tossing I find out it's the minus connection to the tail light. Ok, that can be fixed.
Funny looking red-leafed Blueberry fields in snow
 The orange warning light "WAIT TO START" has gone out, the engine has warmed up and we are rolling. Down at the border the CBS-officer is nice as always. He doesn't even look into our fridge. We do not have any fresh veggies or fruits, thanks to Bea's busy cooking.
Still fall colors in Maine
 As soon as we get farther inland, we see snow along the road. The remnants of yesterday's storm.
First stop today is the Walmart in Ellsworth,ME. We need to stock up on groceries and Bea gets a new pair of shoes. I wonder how long those are holding up. Made in China-land!! Where can a guy get a decent pair of shoes today, tell me!
An hour later we are in Bangor. It's only a few miles down I-95 and we turn off to Dysarts Truck Stop. We fill up with Diesel at almost $4.00/gal and also get 15 gal. of propane.
Traveling companion
Our usual spot is again available. How often have we been here? I don't remember, but it is very convenient to get to the Freightliner service facility next day. We back into our spot beside two gigantic mobile homes, still on a trailer.
It's blog-writing time!

Thanks for visiting!

Go to next travel day

At Dysart's Truck Stop just south of Bangor

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Fury of a Storm
We have had "leftovers" of Florida hurricanes coming up north here, but nothing was or is comparable with what we got today. The storm came out of the North-West, while the rain came from the opposite direction. 

At around 5pm the rain had stopped and I drove down to where the ferry lands in the summer. Even though the water had started to recede the sea-weeds were thrown way up on the roadway. When looking at these pictures you got to know that this is not the open ocean, but the Passamaquoddy Bay towards the U.S.-Coast. 

Being down there I discovered a load of 1ft-wide pine floor planks about 6ft long, somebody had dumped over the edge. I couldn't leave them there!  Instead I drove home and fetched the trailer. Down again I went and picked up the best of those planks.
Back home, I set them in a pile to dry out. Next year I might run them through my planer, and who knows what I make of them.

While all this bad weather went on, Molly decided to take a looong nap. Good gracious... She hardly moved all day.
A ferocious storm is raging over the island
It started at some point during the night. Icecold rain is lashing out against the coach, stormcasts make it rock.
Luckily we are still at home, but we moved into the motor home as we knew the storm was on its way and we would not be able to load up the last items in that kind of weather.

The furnace is putting out max power, an additional electric heater is running. It's gonna last out Sunday, but then we will be back to sunshine on monday. That's the way weather is out here.

Have a great Sunday!

And here are the news from this morning:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- An unusually early and powerful nor'easter dumped wet, heavy snow Saturday from the mid-Atlantic to New England, toppling leafy trees and power lines and knocking out electricity to more than 2 million homes and businesses.
Communities inland were getting hit hardest, with eastern Pennsylvania serving as the bull's-eye for the storm. West Milford, N.J., about 45 miles northwest of New York City, had received 15.5 inches of snow by Saturday night, while Plainfield, Mass., had gotten 14.3 inches. New York City's Central Park set a record for both the date and the month of October with 1.3 inches of snow.
More than 2.3 million customers lost power from Maryland north through Massachusetts, and utilities were bringing in crews from other states to help restore it. More than half a million residents in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut were without power, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. By late Saturday, the storm had vacated most of Pennsylvania and was tracking northeast.
Throughout the region, officials had warned that the early storm would bring sticky snow on the heels of the week's warmer weather and could create dangerous conditions. New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts declared states of emergencies, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for 13 counties. At least three deaths have been blamed on the storm.
"It's a little startling. I mean, it's only October," said Craig Brodur, who was playing keno with a friend at Northampton Convenience in western Massachusetts, which had received about 4 inches of snow by Saturday night.
And the storm was expected to worsen as it swept north. The heaviest snowfall was forecast for later in the day into Sunday in the Massachusetts Berkshires, the Litchfield Hills in northwestern Connecticut, southwestern New Hampshire and the southern Green Mountains. Wind gusts of up to 55 mph were predicted especially along coastal areas.
Some said that even though they knew a storm was coming, the severity caught them by surprise.
"This is absolutely a lot more snow than I expected to see today. I can't believe it's not even Halloween and it's snowing already," Carole Shepherd of Washington Township, N.J., said after shoveling her driveway.
The storm disrupted travel along the Eastern Seaboard. Philadelphia International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport all had hourslong delays Saturday. Amtrak suspended service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa., and commuter trains in Connecticut and New York were delayed or suspended because of downed trees and signal problems.
Residents were urged to avoid travel altogether. Speed limits were reduced on bridges between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A few roads closed because of accidents and downed trees and power lines, and more were expected, said Sean Brown, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The storm came on a busy weekend for many, with trick-or-treaters going door-to-door in search of Halloween booty, hunting season opening in some states and a full slate of college and pro football scheduled.
But the snow didn't deter the travel plans of Dave Baker, who's been going to Penn State football games for 45 years and made the 200-mile drive from Warminster, outside Philadelphia. He merely adjusted his packing list: Out went the breakfast fixings - his group ate early at a restaurant rather than at the tailgate - in stayed the burgers and hot dogs. And the cold came in handy.
"I didn't have to buy as much ice for the beer," he said.
Elsewhere outside the stadium, 11-year-old Cody Carnes of Pittsburgh made a large snowball as he sweated underneath five layers of clothes - a rain slicker, coat, sweatshirt, T-shirt and thermal. Another fan wore a foam Donkey Kong costume headpiece as he walked to a tailgate.
"It keeps my head nice and warm," explained Matt Langston, 25, a graduate student from Harrisburg.
In eastern Pennsylvania, snow caused widespread problems. It toppled trees and a few power lines and led to minor traffic accidents, according to dispatchers. Allentown, expected to get 4 to 8 inches, is likely to break the city's October record of 2.2 inches set on Halloween in 1925.
Philadelphia was seeing mostly rain, but what snow fell coated downtown roofs in white. The city was expected to get 1 to 3 inches, its first measurable October snow since 1979, with a bit more in some suburbs, meteorologist Mitchell Gaines said.
The last major widespread snowstorm to hit Pennsylvania this early was in 1972, said John LaCorte, a National Weather Service meteorologist in State College.
In southeastern Pennsylvania, an 84-year-old man was killed when a snow-laden tree fell on his home while he was napping in his recliner. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says one person died in a Colchester traffic accident that he blamed on slippery conditions.
In Massachusetts, a 20-year-old man died in Springfield after being electrocuted by a power line downed by high winds and wet, heavy snow. Capt. William Collins says the man stopped when he saw police and firefighters examining downed wires and stepped in the wrong place.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Been wondering about something...
Over the time our blog has existed we have had hundreds of international visitors, from literally all over the world.
Yet, the people who have sent us comments are from the United States and Canada only, and I am wondering what's the reason for that. We would sure like to hear from others as well, maybe especially those who are also into RV'ing and travels.

LOOKEE what's coming up the trail
These pink spots and the white stuff is the approaching winter, paying a first visit to the North-East. It's gonna hit New Brunswick from Saturday night lasting out Sunday. 
However, we expect to get it as a cold rain out here on the island. It rarely snows here before the end of November. But then again...stranger things have happened.

I am truly glad that we did not plan our departure on sunday as first intended. As soon as we go farther inland we would have met the snow.

Except a few things the coach is packed and ready to go. 

Thanks again for visiting!

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's still early...
the house is quiet, Molly has gone back to bed after trying the cold outside and I am just reading a few of my favorite blogs.  Coffee is made but it is still dark outside. Those fall mornings and evenings can sure feel long.
But as AL writes this morning the good with the cold weather is actually getting inside a warm house, sitting in a comfortable recliner and enjoying a cup of good old coffee. Weather forecast for Saturday speaks of an approaching winter storm with rain and snow. That is kinda early for this area, but monday is supposed to be sunny again. How nice. Checked the weather prognosis for next week along our route and it should be in the green alltogether.

Bea has been working the kitchen yesterday and made food for the next week and beyond. Fresh veggies and such cannot be taken across the border to the States, so she cooks it and puts it into jars.

The list of tasks for today includes putting some fiberglass mats on the inside of the basement door. Even though it doesn't really get too cold out here on the island, but I am storing some water-based latex paint down there and I don't want it to freeze.

Water lines will be drained on Sunday, plumbing antifreeze will be put into the P-traps and the washer, and power will be shut off on monday morning. Have a nice winter, HOUSE, we'll see you in the spring.

Next week will be a travel week for many of the RV-bloggers. In fact many snowbirds are planning their departure these days and we pray that all of them are reaching their destination without accidents and those nasty breakdowns which can occur. We sure had a few of them ourselves and know what kind of hassle that is.

Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here is our route to California sunshine:

The Northern Lights flickering over Norway

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Being a Busy Bee
It started right after breakfast - the running back and forth between the Motor Home and the House. Bea wanted to move the kitchen stuff, so she got busy in that department. I was starting the day with removing 50lbs of books and magazines from the Motor Home. We had either read them or they weren't worth reading. Also a couple of drawers got scrutinized for old receipts and papers. Then I looked into the tech stuff. Where was the Mifi? It sure wasn't in the box. A question to Bea beginning with...WHERE IS.......? solved the riddle. More to come!

Kitchen Department
I checked the fridge and surprisingly that brother ran beautifully on propane. They always run on power, but propane is the challenge! Also the furnace was tested. All interior lights were working as well. Don't want to sit in a dimming 1-light bulb environment, you know. Mental Note: Check the water heater tomorrow.

In between I ran inside and phoned the Freightliner shop in Bangor. Couldn't get an appointment for monday as our southern neighbours are too busy with running around as dead bodies or even full-blown skeletons on Halloween- monday. Kinda childish - I think. But what damage does another day do? None at all. After all I had just jumped of the stay-at-home-all-winter thingy and nothing can destroy my optimism now.

Bea asked me to check all the junk which had piled up on the top shelf of the pantry. My black Cowboy hat, tucked away in a plastic bag, lots of empty cardboard boxes, (remember the modem and the extra speakers we bought..) then I dug down to the plastic containers which always seem so handy, like the one from the Hard Salami and a margarine box - all washed out and super clean but oh my, so useless, when new containers coming in after every shopping spree.

When I was done the place looked downright empty --- that is until Bea entered the coach hands full and ready to fill up unused space. Know that thing? Yep, that's what happens. I haven't shown her the seemingly empty baggage compartment underneath yet. Gotto wait until I got the chairs, tool boxes and such inside. Whatever is left might be filled up by Bea's hand.

Called the AMA travel insurance company too or should I say tried to...picked a few phone # from the member magazine, all marked off with AMA Insurance. First guy was onto permanent health insurance. Wrong department, next guy thought about I need an auto insurance despite I had said the word TRAVEL INSURANCE. Are you listening?  Wrong department again. Next number I hit pay dirt, I got Sandra on the phone. She made it all up again and the travel insurance is now a fact. Nice lady and we laughed a lot together. As it turned out I had a senile moment and had forgotten my phone # whereas she told me she recently forgot her residential address.

Onto another insurance: This time our liability guy from the CAA New Brunswick. Suspending insurance for our convertible for the winter went smoothly as a butter scotch.

Headin' down the Highway is what RV'ers do
Next phone call went to the phone company. Suspending our phone subscription was kind of an ordeal again. That little girly wasn't born in any Canadian neighbourhood for sure, and English wasn't easy to learn for her. And now it was a bit late was it? But finally I got through to her. As a reward she put me on hold for 10 minutes just to get back to me the moment I was ready to end the call. All she said was that she had "processed" my order. At least that's what I got out of her. We will see next spring whether we still have a phone connection. :-))

Tell ya, I was kinda exhausted after all that squabble. 

Now we have a kitchen divided between the house and the coach. You can read Bea's account of it if you like. Always good with that second opinion.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's a GO!!
I wouldn't be surprised if you have heard my sigh of relief, but the doc sent us packing. Bea's problem needs to be monitored in a 6 months interval. Meanwhile we will be enjoying the south. No urgent need to stay means also that her problem is not considered to be a major one.

So my work with cleaning out the baggage compartment wasn't any waste of time, after all. Tomorrow we will be running back and forth like ants loading the bus.
Cholla Cactus
Departure is now scheduled for monday with a stop in Bangor,ME for the annual oil change and lube-service on the bus. By tuesday afternoon we will be cruising down I-95 with our destination Holtville,CA. Right now the desert temps are still frightfully high in the upper nineties. We don't need that, do we?
In the Yuma Dunes

A hearty thanks to those of you who have sent prayers for Bea. Seems it helped a lot.

See ya tomorrow and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A call from the Hospital
The unexpected happened today. They called from the Hospital asking whether Bea could make it to Saint John before 10.15am tomorrow. What a question...we are desperate to make it, would even make it to Timbuktu if the Hospital was there.

Even though this call ignites a hope, it doesn't mean we can make plans for a get-away just yet. 

But since I got nothing much to do I started the big baggage compartment clean-up. I am talking about the motor home, naturally. 

When I had all compartment doors open I noticed that 3 rubber gaskets were hanging loose on the lower end. I have tried to kinda glue them back a few times, but the metal inside the gaskets are rusty and broken into xxxx pieces. So after some contemplating I got a knive and a scissor. I cut the gaskets in the corners left and right and removed the entire lower part. Then I poked and peeled the remaining rusty parts of the metal out of there. Next step was cutting the lips off the gasket with the scissor and washing the whole thing under warm water. With our heat gun I dried everything and after cleaning the rim of the compartment doors I used a 3M-Plastic adhesive to glue the rubber onto the outside of the rim. To my surprise the adhesive seemed to hold the gasket in place when I had adhesive on both sides and let it dry a bit before pressing it together. The result is that all compartment doors are now sealed off against water from the road.

With that done, it was time to start the actual clean-up. I removed everything from inside and placed it on a tarp. Then Mr.ShopVac came into play. Of course I had to insert my body the entire length into the compartment to really get into every spot. I have to be thankful that most of my neighbors have long since returned to their homes in the U.S., otherwise I suspect all kind of curious visitors might have been popping up to investigate the reason why only my feet were sticking out of the baggage compartment. Similar thing has happened before.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What are they doing?
Remember I was mentioning Bea's problems with her Thyroid gland? Well, we are still waiting for an appointment with a specialist. It is now weeks ago that a request for an appointment was sent. And nothing is happening. Somebody is sitting on his hands again. The limitations of the Canadian Health System? Or has that become a problem in all universal health care systems over the world? 

Whereever money is changing hands private medical centers can offer appointments in no time at all. But private clinics in the U.S. tend to be outrageous expensive as liability insurance accounts for a major part of the costs.

Now what about Mexico? Mexico's health system is way cheaper than in the U.S. and probably even in Canada.
Has anyone experience with such a problem in Mexico? We'd love to hear from you, as we might consider to escape the lengthy wait line in Canada. And we are not even waiting for a treatment but a simple diagnosis, which may be done in a single day.

We can foresee that it will take another month or even more after seeing the specialist until the report of the specialist will be available. Then more appointments for possible can take years. 

It makes us angry as it puts everything on hold. We'd love to try the Mexican alternative if there is any.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A friend send me a link to a very nice video

Enjoying yesterday's nice fall weather we went for a walk in the Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Friday, October 21, 2011

As we dropped out of the sky...
....the sun had just popped out between the dark and rain-laden clouds. It was about time that the journey would come to an end. After all I had been up from 3am MDST and now it was past 6pm ADST, and since there are 3hrs difference it means I'd be up for 12hrs straight after sleeping a mere 5hrs the previous night. 

Some Airbus-type-of plane had brought me via Toronto to Montreal, but then there was a surprise coming up. As I walked towards the gate exit I glanced out the window and saw a Turboprop DASH 8-100 standing at the ready for us. This was going to be crampy... and it was.
Seat #8c would normally be way up the front in any decent airliner, not so here. Seat 8c was in the second last row.

Since I like to have an aisle seat, (easy to get to the JOHN) the view out the window was limited but I could kinda glimpse the mighty turboprop engines hanging out there.

Another difference between this fly-box and a real airliner was that the pilots are sitting on a "Flight Deck" in the Airbus but in a "Cockpit" in the DASH. Oh ja and while there are 3 stewards onboard the Jet, the DASH had only one blondie taking care of us.
Boarding in Montreal was scheduled at 2.35pm but that never happened as they announced a "maintenance issue" to be taken care of and we should sit tight and be patient.


The delayed boarding took place about an hour later and when the DASH 8-100 finally dashed along the runway, we had to shut up as it was pretty meaningless to raise your voice against the turboprop-drone.

At a 20,000ft cruise height the drone became somewhat bearable, and I must have dozed off for a while because the hands on my clock had made a big jump meanwhile and we were actually descending towards Saint John. The fly-box had made up about 30 minutes of the lost time, so that the total delay wasn't too bad. And who would want to fly with a maintenance issue hanging about?

Bea was standing right there in the middle of a crowd, in a red coat and boy was I glad to see her.

She could tell a magnificent rain storm had just passed and that she'd almost expected the flight to be directed to Moncton or Fredericton for landing.
Molly was utterly pleased to see the ole bugger again as well and threw me a big grin.

While Bea was heading down Hwy 1 I received a short run-down about all the crazy and not-so-crazy things which had happened over the last 10 days.
From the trip: Sunrise over Illinois

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Made in Germany
Not that I need it or can't live without it, but the print: "Made (or produced) in Germany" makes me pay attention. And today was such a day. As I wrapped up my stay in Cold Lake and a very good friend took me along to Edmonton, she stopped down-town in a store known for it's imports from Europe. When customers come here you can be sure of hearing a variety of European accents. 

It is a store which made me hungry (maybe I really was) the moment I entered. German sweets and candy, mouth-watering German cold cuts and cheese from several European Countries, and canned preserves with known German was all there. I had no intention to buy anything, but just couldn't resist the German-made Schwarzbrot, the Marzipan from L├╝beck and the glass of Pflaumenmus, which actually originates from Italy. Back in the car I managed to stuff it between my baggage and here I am in an Edmonton hotel room having my hungry eyes rest on the Schwarzbrot package. 

But hey, we just emerged from the IKEA restaurant in Edmonton South where I enjoyed Swedish meatballs. And that really was a good ending for my stay in Alberta. 

All I have left to do here is rest until 3am tomorrow morning and catch the shuttle to the airport an hour later.

So then I am out of here. The last two days have been incredibly busy with errands all day long. 

Flight tomorrow is keeping me going all day as well, as it stops in Toronto and Montreal, before coming in at the St.John Airport in New Brunswick. The ride home will be another 2 1/2hrs. Passports please. Yeah... alright. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sold and Sold
The unexpected happened today. First I sold the trailer, then in the afternoon hours a phone call with an offer for the truck, not quite the hoped for price, but I will accept it tomorrow. I will be done with all business tomorrow evening and I am sure looking forward to getting home - this time by air. I just hope that Air Canada is not getting into strike as the union has threatened the company with.

Also had the opportunity to catch up with friends and former neighbors which is always nice.

Weather has been outstanding with up-to almost 20C (68F) today, but the nights have been rather frosty and I had to scrape ice off the windshield in the morning.

While I have been rushing around town here out west, Bea has been tending her kitchen and her "krank" neighbours. That was well done, Bea! Pretty soon the days of lonely meals will be over and "Dinner for Two" will again prevail.

Thanks for dropping by and see ya tomorrow.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The last 500km
Starting this morning under a blue sky from Saskatoon I drove the last 500km to Cold Lake. Even though it was only 5 hrs. I fell tired before reaching the well-known pastures north of the North Saskatchewan River. I remember I could drive without ever getting tired --- some twenty or so years ago.  But that is gone, along with a lot of other things and abilities. I really missed driving our motor home and it's comfortable amenities. These one-tonn trucks have a pretty stiff suspension and with a variable road standard I felt all the imperfections of Canadian road engineering. But the bumps and dips must have kept me awake.

Driving through the town where we used to live since 2002 was a shocker too. Not only is the housing market on an expansive rampage, but the road construction as well. Or what do you think of a 4-lane highway in a town which a couple of years ago had a mere 12,000 people?

Anyway after tomorrow's Sunday Service I have to run errands around town on monday, and that will keep me busy for a good while. 

Can't show you any pictures as I forgot to take the transfer cable for the Canon. But they will be posted after my return. Didn't have too much opportunity to take pics underway, as keeping the rig between the ditches was of the 1. priority.

Take Care!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

North Dakota and beyond
Had a great ride from Fargo in to Underwood,ND yesterday. Visiting good friends along the travel route has always been a highlight for me. We went to a local restaurant and I followed the recommendation to try the Chicken Alfredo, and boy was that ever good. By the way I wonder how that "Alfredo" name came into being. Was it Alfredo who invented the reknown sauce? 

It was good to have a 2. pleasant night in a real bed. So be sure I slept like a baby. But I couldn't log onto our friend's network. My laptop just wouldn't do it. COMPUTERS!!

So this morning I left at 8am and was heading north on US 83 to Minot where I did an extra round through town, because my GPS-girl was slightly confused and led me around the wrong turn. Eventually I made it out of town and the Canadian border was coming closer.

The border crossing at Portal didn't make any trouble either, so before I knew it I was on the Saskatchewan prairie, which today was shrouded in dark rain clouds letting occasional showers pour down on me.

After hours of driving in the rain I finally got into Saskatoon's rushhour traffic. What a fun!  And typically the road was full of racing lunatics. The mentality of big city folks. But since I had been in Saskatoon several times before I kinda knew which lane I should be in to make the next left turn. 

So now I am with another couple of friends living out in Pike Lake Provincial Park, a true natural treasure.

Again, I have managed to get myself tired out and looking forward to hit the matrass.

Tomorrow I have a full day of rest, before I take on the last bit of the drive to Cold Lake, Alberta.

Tonight my trip teller shows 4500kms.  Since I used 4.5 days for driving, that is exactly 1000km (620miles) a day. At 60mph it is a little more than 10hrs driving pr. day, plus coffee breaks.

See you later and thanks for keeping me with company on this trip.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ten States

Maine, New Hampshire,Massachusetts
I started Sunday at 8.30am from Campobello. 3hrs later I was just south of Bangor,ME I had a flat tire on the trailer. Good thing was I stopped before it started burning and flying away in pieces. A call to the CAA turned out useless as a Premier RV-membership does not cover a cargo trailer!! But, I managed to fix everything myself. Took off the wheel, unhitched the trailer (I was in a rest area) and found an open tire shop just a few km back to Bangor. 150 Dollars later, I was back and put the tire back on. The delay was a mere 2 hours.

Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana
Driving in the East can best be compared to eating sphagettis. There are hundreds of roads, which on the GPS-screen sure look like a bunch of sphagetti draped on a plate.  Without the GPS I would have been lost and probably been ending up somewhere down in Florida. Also the traffic, man, that is something else. How long ago that I got myself in a Stop-and-Go? I don't remember. It seemd like millions of people were underway in their vehicle and that was the day BEFORE Columbus Day! But the weather was simply phenomenal. Days high was 28C.
Pennsylvania was shrouded in full autumn colours. A true feast for my old eyes.

I kept driving long into the dark hours, then stopped and curled up in the trailer. I made it into Pennsylvania. Next day I started very early before sunrise. Pennsylvania, Ohio, then Indiana. Reaching Elkhart after dark, I spent a night in a Walmart parking lot. Got something which looked like food from Walmart, after that I went to the sleeping compartment in the rear.

Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Today's drive was a long one, I think the trip-teller hit the 3500km today. A little bit of showers, than sunshine and a cloudless sky when going through Minnesota. I passed through the last toll road obstacle as well. Must admit I lost the count somewhere in Indiana, but looking into my wallet there are at least a hundred dollars gone missing. :-))

FARGO,North Dakota
Tonight will not be spent in the trailer as the driver needs a clean-up and a full night of sleep. When looking for that Motel 6 I accidentally bypassed it (what was I doing??) and ran myself into a tight spot with no turn-around. Why can't they put up signs with f.ex. NOT OUTLET or NO TRAILERS?  Well, I backed up again and around a tight curve until I eyed a spot (the driveway of a restaurant) where I could turn. Sometimes it pays off to have a few years of experience with trailer driving.

Anyway, I am done. Good night folks. Tomorrow's post will be from Underwood,North Dakota. And yes, i phoned home and all was well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Under soaring Eagles
With temps reaching 22C (72F) we had what probably is gonna be the last outing on the island. Note: I did not say THIS YEAR, cause we could have many more under a southern sky if everything works out. 
Bea made another Apple Cake and I had the idea to invite two neighboring ladies to Con. Robinsons Point in the Roosevelt Park. Isn't it strange that a coffee taken in wonderful surroundings tastes so much better? Not to speak of the Apple Cake! And indeed the peace and the view of the beach and the ocean beyond was a major ingredience for today's last get-together. Another thing which happened was the soaring eagles right over us. They were circling and circling and looking down on us. Bea tried to take a picture, but didn't have the telelens with her.

We had an absolutely marvelous time out there. 
It will be a very good memory until the next summer invites us out again. And tomorrow we will have even higher temps, but then I am "on the road again" with the day's destination set to a place in New York State.

Forgetting something
I guess we all forget things, but in yesterday's posting I had forgotten an important thing - the destination and reason for my upcoming cross-country trip. After 6 days on the road my goal is Cold Lake, AB. Thanks, Sandie, for pointing out that to me. My truck and trailer are advertised for sale there, and with the oil-and construction industry up there, I have a better chance for selling the vehicles.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cross your Fingers
We can all make plans as much as we like but that doesn't mean it happens all after the recipe we have in our cook book.
There are sure coming up a few red flags for our 

departure here. Bea has been at the local medical center a couple of weeks ago and they have sent her off for an ultrasound.

Bea's got an enlarged thyroid gland and needs to see a specialist. With the ways the health system is working here it can take weeks or even months before that happens. And the outcome is not guaranteed. The best scenario is a heavily delayed departure (hello winter..) or worst we are not going anywhere. (I hate skiiing...)

Maybe this is the time for a solo trip to Australia. Well, we have to wait and see what happens. 

Anyway, Sunday I am hitting the road with my truck and the 27-foot Cargo trailer. It'll take me 6 days to screech through the continent, provided I don't have a meet-up with Mr. Winter somewhere in North Dakota. I'd hate that.
In order to make sure everything is working on the trailer (lights and such) I did the hitch-up today. There was airpressure needed in 3 tires and 1 on the truck. Amazingly all lights were working. That is definitely NOT normal on a trailer which hasn't been moved for more than a year.

I'm gonna be so cheap that I'll take a couple of seatpillows to sleep on in that trailer. I have the habit of getting tired after xxxxhours of driving. Well, I'm hoping that it's not getting too cold at night though. Otherwise I might find myself limping into some motel reception in the wee hours begging for a bed.

Ok, enough from today. I've gotto look whether I can find some other goodies here.... like seeing a Canyon.

The following account is about a trip on Dember 07 2006 when     
we decided to do a drive to famous Quartzsite today. Quartzsite is the renown capitol of the snowbirds in America.
Several TV-crews have published footage about Quartzsite and its millions of winter campers coming from all over North America.
So we follow Hwy 78 east and north. At Palo Verde the road touches the banks of the Colorado and the County offers a nice free campground right besides the river. On both sides of the road farmers are growing cotton, and now is the time of harvest. 
Passing Ripley the 78 soon connects to Interstate 10. At Blythe we stop to buy some lunch.  And then we reach Quartzsite. The first thing you'll see is ---- RV's. There are RV's everywhere. Parked in the desert within the town, at RV-Resorts, the reason why Quartzsite is known to the world. It simply is the capitol of all winter vacationing campers of North America
Besides of coming here for spending the winter people love the Gem and Rock Shows. It all kicks off in January when the big RV-show is on.  But right now we are interested in visiting the flea market. And what a flea market that  is. You have been looking for that rare kitchen item what your grandma had in the fifties? You'll find it right here. Looking for a part for your 56 Chevrolet BelAir or a couple of used tires or an old gun? You like old records of the sixties? Ok start looking at the Quartzsite flea market. Chances are you'll find it all here.  
Here we also meet Joe, standing by his sales booth ready for a talk with a potential customer. I don't know what Joe actually is selling, because his personality takes all of my attention. I assume him to be around 75 years old. His face, marked by  wrinkles as deep as the Grand Canyon, is framed by gray hair growing wildly from everywhere where a mans face might show hair, forming a collar around his neck.  He's holding his 1 year old grandson (?) on his lap, while he is telling us about Quartzsite. "You wait until next month and there will be approx. 1.5 mill. people here leaving you no chance to park your truck anywhere close to town".  
After parting with Joe we are heading down Hwy 95 south towards Yuma. And here, right after leaving Quartzsite we discover the biggest campground in the world.  11,000 acres (4,500ha's) of desert land are giving space to several hundred thousand campers. This is the biggest LTVA within the BLM-system. Besides of that you are free to park anywhere else outside of designated areas for max 14 days without a permit.
The area borders to the KOFA Wildlife Refuge east of Hwy 95. Here we admire peaks, towers and pinnacles striving against the blue sky out of the flat desert landscape making the perfect  backdrop for a Mel Gibson Fiction movie.
Far to the west Bea notices a huge dust cloud moving through the desert. Oh, that sure looks like the Santa Fe Stage Coach crossing.  We wonder what that might be and stop for taking a picture of the huge old giants of the southwestern desert, the SAGUARO CACTI.  A Saguaro gets many hundred years old, and it is said that it takes 100 years before the first arm starts poking out. The process of dying takes not less than 40 years, but you'll rarely see a completely dead Saguaro as their stems are popular for making lamps, selling for hundreds of Dollars at tourist places like Sedona, AZ.
Meanwhile the dust cloud has moved across the desert and towards Hwy 95. Finally, a mile ahead we see a big tank truck appearing out of the cloud, and turning onto Hwy95. Of course we are disappointed of not seeing that Stage Coach we hoped for.
When reaching Yuma the sun is about to drop behind the horizon. And shortly after it is dark. We have to shop some groceries and fill diesel and propane. Rolling in on our campground at 6.30 Ca-time we have a quick supper and then join our neighbors at the bonfire.

Good night folks! See you tomorrow. after that there will be a break for approx. a week as I have to be DRIVING not looking at the Internet. MAYBE, MAYBE a short notice will appear about my progress.

Go West Cowboy, Go West!!