Monday, August 31, 2009

Being Prepared

I really like to be prepared for things, I guess that comes from my boy scout years, their motto is Be Prepared. Well this morning Marcia and I was very UN-Prepared. We spent the night in the parking lot of Shoreline boat and RV repair where Foremost insurance company sent us to have the roof looked at.

They looked at the rig and decided replacing the roof was the only way to fix the problems. We needed to leave the rig with them TODAY so they could start the repairs TODAY. We was not prepared to be evicted from our home today, but we were ready to do almost anything to get the roof fixed so we don't have to worry about it any more.

Marcia jumped into high gear and started gathering things we would need for the next few days, and I did what I could to help her. We unloaded the things in the tracker and loaded our clothes, the bird, and a few things we didn't want to leave in the rig while we weren't with it.

Now we are sitting in a motel room in Kansas City KS, we will be here as tourists until Friday when the rig should be ready to be picked up. I will be taking advantage of the hot tub here at the motel all week.

If you want to read the entire, LONG VERSION, of the ordeal just read on, if you don't want to be bothered with all the details just tune in tomorrow...

If you remember back to March of 2008 you remember we spent 10 days in San Antonio Texas getting a new roof put on our rig because a tree branch jumped out and bit the roof putting small holes in it from the front to the back. South Texas RV Superstore in Seguin TX was the preferred repair shop for foremost so they were doing the new roof install.

Naturally they found "previous damage" that wasn't covered by the insurance company so my $250 deductible turned into almost $1500. We dropped the rig off on a Wednesday morning and they were going to have it ready for us to pick up on Friday, or Saturday at the latest. Well things don't always go as planned and they had to tear off the new piece of rubber they put on because it didn't stick to the new plywood they installed. They had to order a new piece of rubber and we picked the rig up on Friday, 10 days after we dropped it off.

When we picked it up I noticed there were bubbles in the roof, the caulking wasn't sealing the cracks, and part of the rubber roof was sticking through the vent in the bathroom. They re-caulked the seams, fixed the rubber in the bathroom vent, and told us the bubbles would dissolve when the sun hit the roof. I had no reason to doubt their explanation of the bubbles dissolving so was accepted the rig and drove away to see our new grand daughter back in KY.

I watched the roof all summer long and as I watched I saw the bubbles getting bigger and more of them, they didn't disappear like they told me they would at South Texas RV Super Center. I had already fixed the satellite crank that didn't work after we picked the rig up and I had replaced the springs in the awning that mysteriously disapeared while it was in the shop.

After washing the rig several times I could see the bubbles were getting bigger and I figured the roof would start leaking a lot sooner than later. While we were stationary in Raccoon Valley RV Park back in July I decided it was time for me to contact Foremost and have someone look at the roof of the rig so we could get it fixed.

Several days after I left the message with Foremost Josh, (the adjuster we had back in March of 08) called. He set it up for an adjuster in the area to come by and look at the rig, he said it would be within the next 48 hours. Well 5 days later a guy showed up, he said he knew nothing about rv's, but he would look at it and take pictures to send to Josh.

About two weeks later I called Foremost again and had to leave another message for Josh. He returned my call a few days later and told me the owner of South Texas RV was going to call me and discuss the options on getting the roof fixed. (At this point I knew we would have to have another roof put on to fix the rig.) Several days later a guy named Charlie from S.T.RV called and we talked about the roof. He said he would have to talk to Josh about it and that he would call me back.

Several days passed and I never heard from anyone so I called and left another message for Josh, and then I called Charlie and ask him if he was ever going to call me back. Charlie said he had tried to contact Josh but Josh wasn't returning his calls. I then called foremost and "left another message" but this time the message was for Josh's supervisor.

Several more days went by, and by now we were rolling, we were in western Kentucky and still nobody was returning my calls. I got on the internet and went to the Escapees RV Club's forum where they have a section titled Foremost Insurance. I explained part of my problem on the forum asking for suggestions as to what action I could take. I had several comments about who to call or write, and one message from Randy to send him the claim number and our personal information. (Randy is a Foremost agent).

I sent Randy all the information he needed and he contacted Joey, the branch Claims Supervisor.. Joey called me that day, (I wasn't able to take his call when he called) but he left a message and I returned his call the next day. Joey set it up for us to take the rig to Smithville MO. a preferred shop that wasn't too far out of our way going to CO. we were to have the rig there Monday morning, (today) so Greg could look at the roof.
So we will spend a few days in a motel while Shoreline repairs our roof by putting new rubber on it, and fixing the "soft" spot near the rear AC unit. We should pick it up Friday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Smithville MO

We left Clinton this AM and drove up to Smithville where they will check out our roof tomorrow AM. we arrived around 2PM so we unhooked the tracker and went to check out the lake, and the campgrounds.

Clay county runs several of the campgrounds on Smithville Lake and they do NOT honor the Golden Access Pass. We pulled up to one of the check-in booths and ask a few questions, the person manning the booth was very quick to point out their sign says they do NOT honor the pass. I had to tell her I hadn't got that far reading when she popped her head out the window asking to help me.

We ask to drive around to check out the park, mainly to see if we wanted to stay there this week if we have to take the rig back next week to have the work done. She told us we would have to have a car pass to enter and the pass would be $5. I told thanks, but no thanks, and that she had made that decision for us already.

We then drove over to the one CG that is run by the City of Smithville and were treated really well. Even though they don't honor the Golden Access Pass either we will stay there this week unless we venture over into Kansas. I really enjoyed our time in Kansas a few months ago, so we may have to explore a little more of Kansas...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sparrowfoot Camp Ground Clinton MO.

We spent a very relaxing day here at Sparrowfoot CG.

As you see in the picture we are without many neighbors.

We drove into Clinton this morning and saw this neat tree stump, someone did a good job with the chainsaw.

We had to cross this part of the lake getting to Clinton, it doesn't look like a good place to ski. I do think the fish have ample hiding places.

We went back into Clinton tonight so Marcia could get her bingo fix. It really wasn't worth the cost compared to the payouts, but Marcia loves to play, and when momma is happy everyone is happy.

Tomorrow we will move north to Smithville MO so we can get the verdict on the roof first thing Monday AM....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Harry S Truman Reservoir

I don't remember him, I didn't know him personally, but someone liked him enough to name a Lake after him, and we are in one of the campgrounds on the lake. We pulled in this morning and found we could choose almost any site we wanted. The CG is all but empty. A few campers have filtered in today, but not many at all.

Yesterday I talked to the guys at Garmin about Charlene, I was really glad that I didn't toss her into file 13. The guy at Garmin walked me through a couple possible fixes, but they turned out to be of no help. He did say he wasn't going to worry about the couple months Charlene has been out of warranty, and for me to send her in and they would fix it. Now how cool is that?

Once we got set up here at Sparrowfoot CG Marcia took Charlene for a ride to the post office. I took a nice nap while she was gone, and now that we have finished supper I'm thinking I might just crawl back into the bed......

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rolling Again

Today we pulled out of a neat COE park, we thought about staying there longer, maybe even a week or so, but they have the reservations. All the "non-reservable" sites were taken, even though there was plenty open sites that were reserved later on. I talked to a ranger there and he said everyone liked being able to reserve a site. Well you know me, I just had to make comment. I said B*** S*** the only ones that like it are the local folk that come here on their days off, or people from out of town the take their vacation at the same time and same place every year.

I wish I had already seen that all the "non-reservable " were full and a lot of the reservable sites were empty.I would have liked to point that out to the nice ranger, I wander if anyone counts the number of days each non-reservable and each reservable site is empty. They did have a few "non-reservable" sites open on the other side of the road where they were doing construction.

Any way we drove to Clinton MO were we plan on sleeping in a Wal-Mart Parking lot tonight because it is dark and I don't want to try to park this rig in a COE CG after dark. Tomorrow we will attempt to get into a COE Park near here and stay until Sunday when we will take the rig to Smithville so it will be there Monday AM for the inspection....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wappapello Lake

We are at Wappapello Lake, a very nice COE park, full hook-ups. I spent most of the day in bed nursing a bad back. We did manage to get out this afternoon and drive the tracker into Popular Bluff.

We found a Chinese Buffet that you could order off the menu too. Marcia had the buffet, and I ordered Broccoli Chicken. It was all pretty good, not the best by far, but also no where near the worst we have ever had.

I brought 2/3 of mine back to the rig, so now we have lunch for another day. We stopped at big lots so I could get some tape. I am going to build a box to carry my plane in after I assemble it. The original box won't be big enough after I attach the rear wings, the front wings will come off while it is storage.

I put a post on the Escapees Forum about the trouble I have had with our roof, and the neglect we have gotten from the insurance adjuster. Several people replied suggesting I do this and that, but I really wanted someone from Foremost to read the post and respond.

Randy replied the next morning, he sells for Foremost and monitors the Escapees forum. He ask me to send him some information about the claim and said he would try to help resolve our problem. I sent him the information yesterday, and I got a call from the branch claims supervisor that afternoon, but I wasn't able to take the call so he left a message.

This AM I received an E-Mail from Joey, (the supervisor) so I returned his call. As most things goes, he wasn't available to take the call, so now I'm thinking we will be playing phone tag for a while. To my surprise he returned the call and I was able to talk with him.

It has been set up for us to take the rig to Smithville MO just north of Kansas City MO to have the roof inspected Monday morning. Joey has taken over as the adjuster so I will be dealing directly with him. He was very helpful today getting an appointment, and gave me several choices as to where to take it depending on where we would be.

So we won't be going to the SKP Park in Branson like we had talked about, and we may delay the trip to Tucson until Oct. sometime....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Love them COE parks

We left the quiet, peaceful, and secluded area of Energy Lake CG today are drove west. We stopped off in Paducah KY to replace Charlene with her baby sister Marlene. Charlene got quite cantankerous and wouldn't respond to our touch, so we adopted her little sister at Best Buy.

The guy that helped us at Best Buy was very helpful, he told us about a recall on Garmin GPS's because of them freezing up. We will check Charlene out to see if she might be covered with the recall. After making a few wrong turns I knew we wouldn't be without a GPS very long.

Marlene directed us to a COE park near Wappapello Lake in S E MO. We stopped at the visitors center to find out which CG would be best for us, and to see what they had there. We saw a nice art exhibit, and several stuffed animals from the local area. That timber rattler was HUGE.

We chose Redman Creek CG, as we drove through looking for sites that were NON RESERVABLE, we found one that wasn't reserved until 9-4-09. We don't really plan on staying that long here so we took it. Marcia did the jacks, and the slide as I was doing the electric and other stuff. Well I learned a new lesson today, check the electric before you set up. The 50 amp breaker was shorting out inside the box so we wound up moving to another site.

Marcia went to the camp hosts to report the bad breaker, and they contacted the ranger on duty. He came over to the site to check it out, I'm sure they get all kinds and wanted to make sure I had it plugged in right, he said he would get the fixer guy to fix it tomorrow.

We already had the tracker unhooked so we took it to look at the other CG and the other part of this CG that is across the road. They have some really nice sites at both CG's, but getting satellite can be tricky at any of the sites. We didn't find ANY NON RESERVEABLE site that we liked as well as the sites in the first CG so we just took one that isn't reserved until 9-4-09.

The camp hosts stopped by to check on us, and when I mentioned that Marcia was a host for the Escapees his eyes lit up. He ask several questions and we answered them. Marcia gave them a copy of Nick's news paper, an escapees Magazine, and the pamphlet the Escapees had out so they can do some reading. They told us this was their first year camp hosting and that they were thinking about going FT.

After they left we got the rig set up and Marcia cooked up some left-overs. We ate and then I started trying to set up the satellite. Daylight expired before I got it set up, so now I will have something to do tomorrow. We really don't know how long we will be here, but one thing is for sure. We will be sleeping in OUR BED tonight....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kayaking Energy Lake

Today will be our last day here at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western KY. Tomorrow we will meander a bit further west, but today we started out waiting for it to warm up some. The low last night tied a record low for this area at 56 degrees. Some of my readers like it in the 50's, but that is COLD for me, and it falls way short of the 70's we seek.

After lunch it warmed up enough for us to rent a double kayak. We paddled around Energy Lake, we had a nice breeze blowing us to the western edge, but paddling back was too much like work for me. We did enjoy the afternoon, but the next time I think we will find one with a motor.

Please enjoy a few of the pictures I took today.

After the kayaking we returned to the rig where Marcia took me to school playing "hoof and mouth". (hand and foot with skip-Bo cards the "Pinner" way. She beat me so bad I insisted she go cook supper. (I'll get her back later)

After supper we walked down to the lake to enjoy the sunset on our last night here. The weather has been beautiful all weekend, just a little on the cool side for me. We should have parked in the boondocking campground and saved a few $$ since we didn't need to run the AC.

Here are a few pictures I took at the waters edge as the sun was setting.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, tomorrow we head west.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Homeplace

Not our homeplace, but the homeplace that is a living history farm recalling work, play, and customs of a rural family between the Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers in the mid 19th century.

The people working the farm dress like they did back then, they run the farm the way they did back then, they have the same crops as they did back then, and the animals are the same as the ones they had back then.

Yes there is a difference in the crops of today and the crops back then, they didn't have the hybrid crops like we today, and the animals weren't bred and inbred so many times to produce more and more.

They had to make fences by using split rails.

This is the first time I heard of a Double Pen House, it has a hall in the middle with rooms on either side.

Here is their wood shed.

Notice how tall the cotton is, today's cotton has been bred to grow smaller so machines can pick it easier. Marcia is in High Cotton.

another shot of the Double Pen House.

I couldn't resist taking the picture of this cutie pie dressed for the occasion.

Today they were making "end of garden relish" they used everything that was ready/left in the garden to make this batch of relish.

The stove they cooked on.

Cover over the spring that provided their water.

The tool barn housed their tools and provided a place to work on things.

This youngster told me she was watching over things while the men folk went to town to get feed.

I have seen a lot of gords, but neve any with stems this long. What a handle they have.

Every farm had a place to keep their pigs. The pigs provided really good meat to chow down on.

This is their tobaco barn.

They hang the tobaco in the barn to allow it to dry.

The fence surrounding their garden.

Here is Marcia guarding the hen house.

This is what they used to hold the water for the animals.

They say this is the "duck house". Used as a place for the ducks to hang out.

Another house on the farm.

I think this is some kind of waeving machine.

These flowers are in a small fenced in area behind one of the houses. Not enough work to do on the farm so they grew these flowers.

This barn is used for the oxen.

Another shot of the barn.

These oxen are a rare breed, something like a milking short horn, they just looked like cows to me.

Here is one of the horses they use to plow the fields, and the barn where it spends its nights, and days off.

A shot of the barn.

This was/is called the garden crib, maybe they try to get the little ones to sleep in there while they work the garden? or maybe they keep the garden tools in there, I really don't know, but that is what the paper says it is.

I know a corn crib is used to keep the corn in after it has been harvested. That would be the corn they use as feed for the animals, not the corn they eat.

Here is a shot of their garden.

As we left the "Homeplace" we saw these "Tonkas", or buffalo, or Bison across the road in the "Bison Field".

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, it really is a neat place to visit but I wouldn't want to go back to that way of life....

Saturday, August 22, 2009


D-area in Energy Lake Camp Ground in Land Between the Lakes National recreation Area is where we have the rig parked. Here is a picture I took this AM.

We have the first, or last site in D-area, it boarders the woods outside our door so we might get a glimps of some wild animal off in the woods. Today we counted 5 camp sites in use in D-area, two can be seen from our rig, and two are off over the hill so we can't see them, and we are the fifth. That makes it really quiet and peaceful for us.

Marcia found a BBQ festival close by so we drove over to enjoy some BBQ. Last week Gary and Karen told us about several BBQ places they have seen and always ask if the meat was smoked, or just a lot of sauce. The meat here was smoked, and the aroma told us it was good. (except the one guy that was pouring gallons of water on his to drown the fire that had taken over)

This was the guy with the fire, but I'm sure all that got too done was for him to sell and not what he sent to be judged.

This was a competition BBQ cook-off sponsored by Early Times whiskey, and the American Bass Anglers Association. A few of the ones that were entered in the contest were selling their BBQ.

We didn't stay long enough to see who, or which team won the cook-off, but we did stick around long enough to get a BBQ plate from one of the contestants. We went way too early because we had to wait for someone to start selling BBQ, and the bands didn't start until later.

I was feeling the cold front that was moving into the area so Marcia drove us back to the rig where I took a long nap while she went to see the animals at the nature center.

After she returned and I woke up from my nap we cooked some supper before we took off to the Elk and Bison Prairie. It is a large fenced in area with 31 elk and 53 + or - Bison with a three mile paved path for you to drive around on. We made two trips around before we spotted a few turkeys.

Then we spotted this huge Elk, we didn't have to worry about it running into the car or anything like that because it was a couple hundred yards off the blacktop path that we were on.

On around to the other side of the area we spotted these cow elk and a couple with babies. They all started coming out about 6:30 or 7PM, After the second trip around I was wandering if we were going to see anything. I even told Marcia we would be lucky to get a glimps of cow elk. I was sure surprised to see the huge bulls we saw.

At 8PM they were having a show about the universe at the planetarium, so we went to see what it was all about. The show was about things they are seeing in the so called "black Hole" in our solar system. I am NOT at all interested in astrology, so I fought myself to keep from falling asleep during the program, and I was really happy when Marcia said we didn't have to stick around to look through the telescope. Even though I did try to see that swan in the sky they kept talking about, I think there are enough stars out there that anyone can make whatever they want to make as far as an outline using the stars.

Tomorrow we plan on checking out the "working farm". The brochure says they do everything like they did back in the 1800's.....