Sunday April 17, 2016
Back at Home!
We are back at home and have been here for a week, after Bowling Green we hit our usual stops in Columbus, Fort Wayne and Monroe. These were all "inside days" in the RV due to temperatures and rain. The forecast in Monroe called for a few inches of snow, so we decided to retract the slides overnight (it's hard to get snow and ice off the slides in order to leave). It's the first time in this RV that we've done this, it was tight but manageable.
The snow event was actually minor (an inch or so) so we got going early to get across the border on a Saturday. On our way through Detroit heading to the Ambassador Bridge on I-75 we ran into snow streamers off the lake. we didn't have any problems but the bridges on I-75 were very icy, the southbound lanes were "bumper cars" with multiple accidents, and Michigan's snow removal plan is called "spring". On one bridge our rear dual wheels started spinning with the RV attached, it was that slippery. We had no problems as we took it easy and the Ambassador Bridge wasn't close to the streamers so it was clear.
We cleared customs easily and the trip home was uneventful. The RV had to be winterized immediately because it was well below freezing (even the drain line from the fresh water tank was frozen upon arrival!), we quickly unpacked and started settling into the house again.
We are cleaning up the debris from the winter, a number of tree branches broke from the Christmas ice storm, these we cut and they were taken by the town during the week (one tree still has to be taken down) and there are a lot of twigs to be raked up, those are the jobs for this coming week.
We really enjoyed the winter in the south, we spent about $1,000 less than last year on diesel fuel compared to last year (we didn't drive as much in California compared to previous years), we even almost "broke even" as the lower prices mostly offset the Canadian dollar decline.
Tuesday April 5, 2016
Waiting out the snow back home!
We are in the Bowling Green KOA, we've been here two nights and we will stay tonight as well. We are watching the cold snowy weather back home, more snow is scheduled tomorrow. Having never pulled the RV in snow (and not wanting to!) we decided to stay here an additional night more than planned. If the revised schedule holds we will be back home on Saturday.
The weather here has been good, we sat outside most of yesterday in low to mid 70's temperatures. It's cooler today but sunny.
The shorts are back in the drawer, long pants, long sleeve shirts are on and the Crocs will be retired for shoes and socks (darn!). At least the leaves are popping on the trees here:
Into the cold! What's happening with this crazy April weather??
Saturday April 2, 2016
Still March Break?
We are in Natchez Trace state park near Jackson Tennessee, we arrived here yesterday afternoon and we've settled in. The park is very busy, it's an all reservation park, you reserve ahead as there is no ranger or attendant (or park host either this spring). There are a few spaces left but the park is quite busy, the ranger indicated that the place has been busy for three weeks.
I got to talk to the ranger because an alarm behind our RV went off and it buzzed all last night, not quite loud enough to keep us from sleeping but noisy enough to cause a headache this morning.
The park is quite hilly and they have a number of sewage pumps enclosed in large drums to pump the sewage to a central tile field somewhere in the park. These systems are a larger version of the systems in some homes to allow washrooms in basements where the septic system is higher than the basement level. The system here has an alarm that goes off if the sewage level in the container reaches the top. I watched the ranger (and I supplied the tools!) to help him open the control box and throw the pump on in manual mode, the drum lid was then opened to see the sewage level afterwards. Going to manual emptied the container and silenced the alarm before we opened the lid. Not sure what the problem was but they have had heavy rain here (as we did in Wynne) last week, the rain runoff may have overwhelmed the system. If the alarm goes off tonight, I know what to do! Another camper indicated that the same thing happened on Thursday night.
The site isn't bad, not our normal site but OK:
We are getting some laundry done today before we leave for Bowling Green tomorrow.
Wednesday March 30, 2016
Battening down the Hatches!
We are in Village Creek State Park near Wynne in east Arkansas after a short run from DeGray Lake SP where we stayed last night. We had an hour delay moving from Sandlin to DeGray lake yesterday, the interstate was stopped for an hour east of Texarkana because of an accident in the west bound lanes. Road construction reduces the interstate in both directions to one lane, resulting in quick stops and slow downs. A 5th wheel RVer in the westbound lane didn't stop and rear ended a transport truck, the Dodge pick up was folded almost in half but the hitch and 5er held on, looking at the damage we can't believe if anyone in the Dodge survived, scary!
We arrived here this morning, we wanted to get away early as there is a severe rainfall/thunder/tornado warning for the whole southwest area and the rain and thunder just started at 3 pm here. We are expecting 3 inches of rain overnight, hopefully it will be just a rain event, no other drama. We have signed up for E-mailed tornado warnings just in case and we have a building close by that we can use "just in case".
Before the rain started Murdoch got a walk:
That's our RV in the distance and the building for protection, just in case.
Monday March 28, 2016
In East Texas
We survived the crossing of Dallas-Fort Worth again (not bad on a Sunday) and we are in Lake Bob Sandlin state park in east Texas near Pittsburg. After Carlsbad we hit Monahans Sandhills SP in Texas for a night then we spent 2 nights in Ranger Texas. We are still feeling the effects of the March break and Easter during our travels, we had to stay 2 nights in Ranger because the state park here was fully booked, a lot of the folks cleared out as it seems that Easter Monday isn't widely celebrated (we even shopped this morning). Still, we couldn't get our favourite site, we got site 41 instead.
The parks folks said it was "satellite friendly" (not true) but it's right on the lake:
It's a bit uphill to the RV from the patio but it's a nice site:
We are enjoying the warm sunny weather and the leaves ar back out on the oak trees here. It's the "second spring" for us on the way back. We are on track to be home towards the end of next week.
Wednesday March 23, 2016
We are on our second full day of heavy winds and are under a wind warning with gusts to 80 KMH, it should abate after midnight tonight. We should be good to travel to Monahans tomorrow. We've been in the camper and are going out only to take Murdoch on his walks, there is lots of "stuff" blowing around the campground.
This is a picture of this morning's walk, note the dust and wind:
We are glad the wind will abate, we would otherwise get "sandblasted" in Monahans tomorrow.
Tuesday March 22, 2016
We are in the Carlsbad KOA, we got here yesterday afternoon after a shorter drive from Las Cruces. We had a couple of exciting moments, the first happed en route when a message on the dash of the truck came up "Trailer Disconnected"! No, the trailer was still there but we must have an intermittant connection at the plug, the trailer became "connected" again after a couple of minutes, it's time to clean up that plug!
The second was after we arrived and set up. There are a couple of large rocks on the site for decoration, Murdoch was sniffing around one of them and he backed off after hearing a rattling sound (we heard it too). We called the office and a KOA staffer (accompanied by four or five others who haven't seen a diamond back rattlesnake before) dispatched the baby snake (who apparently are more dangerous as they release all their venom when the bite).
Fortunately Murdoch was smart enough not to go after the snake. We are keeping him away from that rock as there are other holes (other snakes?) around it.
We got a patio site with more space and furniture:
Suzette enjoying the patio:
The offending rock:
Hard to see but can just make out the diamond shapes under the rock:
Today we are under a wind warning with 50MPH gusts expected today and tomorrow, the trailer is rocking! Hopefully the wind will be gone for our departure on Thursday!
Sunday March 20, 2016
We are in the KOA in Las Cruces NM., we got here yesterday afternoon. We normally stay in Deming but we decided to go about 50 miles further to Las Cruces in order to take a few miles off tomorrow's long run to Carlsbad and check out the KOA here. It's right off the interstate but a little tight, it's on a hill overlooking Las Cruces. It's small with the campsites close to each other with the pull through sites terraced, understandable with the park being built on a hill:
That's our neighbour's site right next to us:
You can see the mountains on the other side of Las Cruces in the background:
The campground is built up on a hill, there are houses down below it:
It's a good stop and should shorten the run tomorrow, we are doing some touring this morning as the Rio Grande river is close by and Murdoch needs a walk!
Sunday March 13, 2016
Long Travel Day!
Today we traveled all of 100 yards, from one side of the campground to another. The KOA software didn't allow us to stay in our site (although it doesn't assign a specific site to you when you register) so we were one of 83 campers who were arriving or doing the "big shuffle", Suzette said that the registration staff were a little stressed.
Our new site gives us some more shade and we are a bit closer to the air show action:
Al took a few pictures yesterday that didn't come out too well, see below. He will try again at today's air show:
Friday March 11.2016
March Break (Arraaaah!)
OK, it's something we should have remembered, but next week is the March break week. We had planned to be leaving Tucson tomorrow but the camp grounds in Carlsbad (both the KOA and the state park) are booked all next week, so we made the decision to stay here in the KOA for another week. It isn't all bad as Suzette has access to two pools (one of which is close enough to the bar to carry drinks to the pool!), and we get to take in the Tucson Air Show tomorrow and Sunday, we are close enough to see all the action from the campground. Another benefit is that we get a deluxe site in Carlsbad next week. And, it's a lot warmer here than in Carlsbad. It will delay our return home by a few days, we slimmed down a couple of stops on our way back by a day so it's not quite a week longer. We need to check availability over Easter, hopefully we won't be shut out over that weekend!
Wednesday March 9, 2016
We arrived here yesterday after a couple of days in Picacho Peak state park about 50 miles north of here. We didn't post from there but we enjoyed our 2 night stay, we even got (fairly heavy) rain on our last night there. Some pictures:
We were in the "B" loop, the A loop is in the distance with the peak in the background:
The view down the hill with our neighbour's camper in the foreground:
A look into the desert:
We are in the Lazy Days KOA in Tucson (again!), it's convenient to shopping and it's comfortable. There seems to be a Custom Coach get together here (same as last year), we are "trailer trash" between the class "A's"
We are off to Deming on Saturday.
Wednesday March 2, 2016
Into the Heat!
We arrived in Yuma yesterday after the short run from Borrego Springs. We are now used to 34C weather but here it hit 38 yesterday, and both our air conditioners were cranked, today it seems to be the same. It's warm enough that the locals are spending time inside during the day. Today we got smarter, the air conditioners were turned on early and Murdoch is getting brief walks, Suzette is enjoying the "bath water" in the pool.
We are in our regular area to the east side of this 1200 site campground and they have just completed a small dog park close to us so Murdoch doesn't have to walk far.
Busier than last year but lots of sites available: