Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 the first six months

 We closed out 2010 in Bushnell FL with the escapees at Sumter Oaks, and then we headed south looking for warmer weather. We wound up in Key West FL enjoying the beautiful sunsets and a little warmer weather. It just wasn't the 70's that we seek, but we waited a few days and the 70's did show up.

Jim and Nancy came down and visited us and this little iguana tried its best to climb up Jim's leg. I don't think Jim had moved that fast in many years.

We did some kayaking and found some nice shells.

We soon moved back to Sumter Oaks, and I flew back to KY for my doctor appointment. While I was gone some lady rear-ended Marcia in the jeep. We took the jeep to wachula to have it repaired.

We found a buyer for the Santara, a nice couple we had met in Wachula, they had spent the winter in a small class C so moving into the Santara was a huge move forward for them, and it relieved us from the burden of having two motor homes.

My doctor appointment took us back to KY a lot earlier than we wanted to be there, but it did give us added time to spend with family.

I bought some " old school " wheels for the jeep and they really looked good, but Wal-Mart scratched them up when they installed them wrong so wal-mart paid me for those wheels and I bought some that were more durable.

Dad had been pretty sick all winter so it was really good that we were able to be there and able to spend time with him before he went to be with mom in heaven.

Another plus was we started volunteering for the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Did you know

Kentucky was once called Kaintuck?

We even got uniforms.

And a secluded place to call home for a couple months.

We got to see "little Shit" (as dad called Braydon).

We were among many volunteers at the park.

While we were there we saw an unusual flood in June. Middlesboro was hit pretty hard by some heavy rains and many of the business in Middlesboro were flooded along with many homes.

We had several marsh-mellow roasts, the kids really enjoyed them.

Someone else liked them too.

The sad part of the first six months was dad passed away, and I really miss calling him and letting him know where we are parked at now. Going "home" (back to Middlesboro) will never be the same, and I might not ever return except Scott, Corey and Jenifer, and the grand babies are there, and it is so close to Nellies.

That is the short version of the first six months of 2011, the next six months, after leaving Middlesboro, will follow, (soon I hope)...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wheeling in Salome

Yesterday we left the conveniences of the big city to enjoy the seclusion of Salome. The area around Salome is a four wheelers haven with thousands of miles of trails. I gave up the four wheelers years ago, something about pain and back caused our quad to sit in the garage for several years before we gave it away.

But my loving wife loves her jeeps, and I found out the jeeps will go almost any where a quad will, and if the jeep won't make it I don't really need to go there.

She did ask me several times today, "are you going down there"? A horse could have done a better job as transportation, but a horse needs too much attention, with the jeep its just tires, gas and oil, and we can pull the jeep behind the rv.

We traversed across many miles of desert enjoying the views all the way, and we are always looking for that shiny stuff in the washes.

I have found that I enjoy looking for the best way to get across the wash in the desert, than watching for the fool crossing into my lane in the cities.

I spotted this definite change in the rocks so I wanted to see why.

It was the tailing's of an old mine shaft. I have always wandered how the prospectors chose an area to look for their gold. You can find claims all over, but how do or did they know where to dig?

We didn't do anything that was too rough, although I wish the quads would have made the paths a little wider so I didn't have to worry so much about scratching the jeep.

 We made it back to the rv resort with no problems, didn't get cut off by any aggressive drivers, and I really don't think we ran any red lights today...........

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Apache Trail

We are staying at Palm Gardens RV Resort in Mesa AZ. It is a nice place, too large for me but the price was right and they have the amenities we like. Hot tub, club house, and heated pool to name a few.
We decided to take a drive along the "Apache Trail" up to Roosevelt Lake, Ron, Linda Mike and Sandy was also going so we followed each other most of the way.

Here is the Superstition Mountains just East of Phoenix.

We met up with Ron and the gang at this ghost town, it is Goldfield Ghost Town just outside of Apache Junction AZ. It has a lot of neat stuff, but it is just another tourist trap in my book.

Here is the group at one of the first scenic overlooks, Looking over Apache Lake.

This is the nice lady that offered to take our picture all together. we all gave her our cameras so she took several pics for each of us.

At one of the several one lane bridges we stopped at I took this picture of the canyon that the creek flowed through.

Linda and Sandy ventured further up the trail to get a better view.

Here is one of the many awesome sights we were blessed with along the 150 mile loop. The 150 miles is from our CG back to our CG.

On the way to Roosevelt Lake we seen this van, we were humored by the "hows my driving" sign on the back, and the van had ran off into the ditch.

I was going to offer to pull him out with the Jeep, but the driver wasn't around.

Here is another awesome view we were blessed with.

Another one of the lakes.

The Apache Trail has 20+ miles of dirt road from Apache Flats to Roosevelt Lake, and a lot of the dirt road is a wash board road. Very bumpy, like the old wash boards used before washing machines. The Jeep handles roads like there easy, but Ron's big one ton dually had a rough time bouncing around.

Here is the bridge crossing over Lake Roosevelt, northward towards Payton, and south to Globe. We went south not crossing the bridge. 

A look at the upper side of Roosevelt Dam, the dam was built in 1911 and is one of the few masonry dams still in existence.

We stopped on the lower side of the dam and looked upwards, we even walked down the path to get a better look, but for some reason I didn't take a picture.

We had a good day and look forward to having many more with our friends every where we go...........

Friday, December 16, 2011


 Here in Tucson we have an aunt that is really something special. She is 75 and lives close to her daughter and son-in-law. She always enjoys a visit from us, so much so that she had 30 amp service put in so we could be plugged in while visiting her. we really thank her for that.

 She has a daughter that lives just around the corner with her son-in-law and one grandson, and the other grandson lives with his wife a few miles away, and one of her many nephews lives a few blocks away. They are all just fun people to be around, and we always enjoy being around them.

 Although they always tell me Tucson is warm and dry, I have found out that Tucson isn't always warm and dry, but that may be because we are here. Highs in the low 60's and high 50's isn't warm to me, and when the lows dip into the 20's I start thinking we should have went back to FL.

 Pam and Jon are always entertaining at their house, and are willing to help any way they can, and their son Brian is always looking for some way to do something for someone. Andrew, their oldest son is too busy working and taking care of his wife and two babies to spend much time with us, but they do come over every Friday for Yhatzee night.

 As I had posted before we put the rig in the shop to have an exhaust leak fixed, and the Kenworth dealer had it for 10 days, but when I went to pick it up they had not touched it. I was one very unhappy camper that day. It looks like Tucson is not a good place to have work done on your rig. The front-end work was screwed up in Tucson and now the exhaust, so Sunday we will be headed for Phoenix to get it repaired.

 It has been an enjoyable stay here in Tucson despite the incompetent shops I found. Spending time with family is always fun and enjoyable, but we are ready to spend some time with our RV'ing family. We will head west after the rig is repaired next week. We have the "class of 2007" 5 year reunion in Q next month, and it will be good to exchange stories with others that went FT the same time as we did.

 Once we get back into "vacation" mode and out of visiting mode I'll try to do a little better on keeping the blog updated, so stay tuned................

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Very Proud of my Little Girl

 Last week we flew back to Knoxville TN as we do almost every year because my doctor wants to see me twice a year. But this time we had a few other things that we would have flown back for even with our doctor appointments. Our daughter Jenelle walked across the stage at Thompson Bowling Arena where she received her diploma. She is now a graduate of the University of Tennessee, with a BA degree in Communication.

 It was a long struggle for her, in 2008 she moved to Knoxville. Within two weeks she had her own apartment, a job, and enrolled in school. A little over a year later she had a house built and a new car in the garage, and she is doing it with almost no help from us. I know she spent many lonely hours studying because the closest of our family was 65 miles away, and we were running the roads in the RV.

 When she walked across that stage it opened a new door in her life. She had done without a lot of things, and she had put a lot of worldly desires aside to achieve her dream of getting that diploma so she can have a better future.

 I truly hope she succeeds in whatever she chooses for the next chapter in her life....

GOOD JOB JENELLE..............

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We have been in Tucson a week now this time, parked at camp Arlene's. A week ago we went to Nogalas Mexico with Mark and Lydia. The picked us up at the casino where we were and Mark drove us down. Riding in the back of their small Ford made me want a 4 door truck, or 4 door jeep all the more.

 Lydia had a dental appointment in Mexico so we went with them. The first stop was the duty free store, we bought a couple cartons of smokes for $10 a carton. We got an off brand, and Mark and Lydia got their name brand for $30, which sure beats the $55-$110 they charge in the states.

 Once in Mexico we walked around looking in several shops. Nogalas is a lot different than Los Algadones, and I would much rather spend a day in Los Algadones. We had breakfast at Leo's, the sausage was a hot dog, and the ham was not ham, but the eggs were cooked to order, and the pancakes were ok. Marcia and I did get our Coke Light, which is diet Coke but in Mexico it has a little more syrup in it.
We had a pretty good time over all and Lydia has one more appointment today.

 Once we got back to the casino we said our good-byes and then we drove the rig to "Camp Arlene's" so we could spend Thanksgiving with family. Pam, and the "girls" did an excellent job preparing the dinner, and everyone ate a little more than they should have. The next day we did it again with left overs and it was as good as it was the day before.

 Sunday Bill and I went to the desert to pop a few caps. Bill collects all kinds of guns, he has or has had several old hand guns. A 1902 38, an old colt 45 with pearl grips made around 1904, and several long guns. We made a lot of noise and had a good time, it had been years since I had been shooting like that.
It was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing it again sometime.

 I had been hearing a noise coming from the engine of the rig and couldn't tell if it was normal or not. A mechanic told me recently it was a cracked manifold, and I really didn't want to hear that. So I called cummins to find a shop near here, and to ask about a warranty, I was really pleased to hear that a cracked manifold would be covered under the 5 year 100000 mile cummins warranty. Although our rig is an 06 it wasn't "put into service" until May of 2007 so we still have a few months on the warranty, and it will ONLY COST US THE $100 deductible. (we dodged a bullet there)

 We will drop the rig off Saturday, the day before we fly back to KY and they should have it fixed and ready for us when we return a week later.

 It is 3:44 am and my mind is wandering so until the next time............................

Monday, November 21, 2011


 We spent almost a full week in Gila Bend, the Aux air station has a fam-camp with about 60 sites. Full hook-ups and free laundry for less than a lot of places charge to dump your tanks. The only problem is there is NOTHING around there.
We left Yuma last Tuesday and drove to Gila Bend. We got all set up in the fam-camp, was greeted by several of the rv'ers that spend the entire winter there, and made it to the 4 PM happy Hour. We were introduced to all that were there, and had a good time listening to all the gossip.

 One bad thing about this fam-camp is that don't have the same rule as Escapees have about talking politics, or bringing pets to the happy hour. One lady was very outspoken with her political views, and you could tell she enjoyed being that way. And one couple had to bring their "puggsly" to every get together, I really enjoy the Escapees Boondockers rule about not bringing your pet to gatherings. You may love your pet more than anything, (and that is the main problem) but I'm not an animal lover, and watching some one's pet sit and stare at someone eating is disgusting. ( I'm not an animal hater either )

 The following day we drove into Gila Bend and had lunch at McDonald's. Then we drove around town look things over. After that ten min was over we headed back to the rig. I got caught up on a lot of things I have been wanting to do. I finished Corey's walking stick, fixed the leak in the water hose where I had installed the water filters' and got started on a chair I'm re-doing.

 The next day we just chilled, and the following day we drove down to Ajo. Ajo is another small town but there are many paths to play around on in the jeep. We spend a couple hours just riding around in the desert admiring the beauty.

 We had so much fun in Gila Bend that we decided to leave a day early. We really did enjoy our time there, but I can only take so much of nothing. Even though we were paid up until tomorrow we left today. Our plan was to spend the day at the casino in WHY AZ. but they don't allow overnight parking there so we didn't stay.

 I really would have liked to spend a day or two in that area, there are plenty 4x4 trails and the Organ Pipe Cactus N. M. is a beautiful place. The cactus are so plentiful and they are so huge it is really impressive. So I'm thinking we may head that way when we return from KY next month. I know there are plenty of places to dry camp around Why, but I just wanted a casino to park at.

We will hang out here for a couple days before we head up to my aunt Arlene's for a couple weeks..........

Thanks to any of you that did the survey I posted, our daughter thanks you too.......

Why is a small town in southern AZ, it was named after the roads that form a Y.

Our Daughter needs help.

 As most of you know our daughter Jenelle is due to graduate the Universtity Of TN next month. One of her school projects this semester is doing a survey online. The more people she gets to do the survey the better her grade will be. So if you have a few min to spare would you please take the survey? Just follow this link .

 Thanks a bunch, and I will do a blog on hanging out in Gila Bend soon......

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inverter Issues

We have had issues with our inverter ever since we bought the rig, for some reason we have to have the inverter on to watch tv, even if we are plugged into shore power.

I put a post about it on the escapee forum,
and got some good information about what the problem is. As you can see in the picture if you close it has a circuit breaker that is messed up. For some reason the electricity coming from the shore power is not getting through the inverter to the TV without going through the inverter. The conclusion is a bad transfer switch inside the inverter, possible caused by the messed up circuit breaker.

The main reason for this blog post is so I can have a link to the picture to post on the forum so the guys helping me can see it.

We will be leaving Yuma tomorrow if the etch-a-sketch doesn't change overnight. We have enjoyed being here at Kofa Co-op, enjoyed a couple trips to Mexico where Marcia got new glasses, and contacts, and we have enjoyed the hot tub here. ( I enjoy them anywhere).

Tomorrow we head to Gila Bend. Not much there, but at the air station we can have full hookups for $7 a night and free use of the laundry room. We will make a couple day trips to see sights we want to see, some for the first time and some to see again.

Until the next time.............

Monday, November 7, 2011


 Pam and Marcia decided Laughlin would be a good weekend getaway, mainly for Pam and Jon because we are already on an extended weekend getaway. Ours started in May of 2007 when we sold the house and moved into the RV.

 Pam worked really hard getting us all reservations at the Colorado Belle, but the main lady she normally deals with was not working so she could only get their room. She did however get it cleared for us to park the RV there for the weekend, so we all me there Friday.

 We spent several hours playing slot machines in the casino, and taking advantage of their free drinks. We all decided to meet up at 6 pm for dinner, and we had a pretty good meal in the "Brewery". They make their own beer, and serve all kinds of food. After eating we went to the RV to play some farkle, and that is when things went down hill fast.

 Barney Fife was on duty as the security guard, and he said we couldn't be inside the RV. When I tried to explain that we had it all cleared with the casino, and even had a parking permit from the casino. Well he quickly explained that the county didn't allow it unless the casino had a permit to allow dry camping, and they didn't have one.

 Now Pam was a little embarrassed, and we all were frustrated, but Pam went into action. She went inside and found the lady that gave her the permit, and explained it all to her. She agreed it was her mistake so she comped us a room for the weekend. I thought that was pretty good.

 The next day I was in the RV watching the KY football game, I had the generator running, kicked back and enjoying the game when another security guard stopped by and informed me that even though we had a room there we wasn't supposed to be inside the RV. But he said it was such a nice day that he would let me finish watching the game.

 I guess the county passed some law to make the casino's buy some permit to allow dry camping and the Colorado Belle didn't fork over the $$. The Pioneer Casino next door had " FREE DRY CAMPING" on a large sign next to the road, so I guess they paid the fees.

 Bottom line is we had a pretty good time with Pam and Jon, and they do have a pretty good deal going with the Colorado Belle, as they get all their food, and drinks comped by the casino, plus they get a suite with a large balcony over looking the Colorado River.

 I was really happy to leave, I like sleeping in MY BED. We are now parked at " HI JOLLY " a free area of the BLM land just north of Quartzsite. We will head to Yuma tomorrow or the next day for a week or two........

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Been a while

OK I.m sorry, but it has been a couple weeks since my last blog post, Once we left Tucson we took the rig to Spectrac near Phoenix to have the front end aligned. They did a great job, they corrected the screw ups they made at the International dealer in Tucson, and then aligned it up. The ride and drive is so much better now that it has been aligned.

We spent a week resting near Phoenix, didn't do anything except dinner out for our 19th anniversary. Then we wound up in Congress at the SKP park North Ranch. North Ranch is a beautiful place, but it is in the middle of nowhere. Wickenburg is about 15 miles away, and there you can find several eateries and a few stores. Congress has nothing, one place to eat and the prices reflect the fact there is nothing else around.

We got the RV washed while at North Ranch, but the weather wasn't looking good for the trip to Laughlin on Friday so we left a couple days early. Wednesday the wind was blowing pretty good, but nothing like the forecast for Friday. We spent two days at a Passport America Park before moving over to the casino.

We will spend the weekend here at the casino, (cousin Pam got us a room comped for the weekend) And for your information the Colorado Belle Casino DOES NOT allow dry camping in their parking lot. I'll tell that story in the next post, now I have to feed the slot machines......

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tucson Arizona

  Tucson is one of our favorite places, we have family here and I love the sunshine. We arrived Friday and checked into the Tra-Tel RV Park. Tra-Tel is a passport America park but PA isn't good after Oct 15th because they fill up with snowbirds. But we were lucky enough to get in before some of the snowbirds were due in so we got the PA rate for one week.

 After setting up we drove the 3 miles to Aunt Arleen's. It is always good to see her, she is so full of life and always finds the right things to say to make you laugh and feel at home. After visiting for an hour or so we called our cousin Bill and he came over. Bill has always been one of my favorite cousins, him being several years older than me had me always looking up to him.

 Later Friday night we were invited to Pam and John's for Yahtzee night. Pam has always been the entertainer, she enjoys having large numbers of people over and it always turns out to be a fun time. Andrew and his wife with their two youngens, Brian and his girlfriend, us, John and Pam, and a couple of their friends all joined for the fun.

 Andrew had the dogs and burgers ready when Pam got off work, so the party started. The guys didn't roll too well at Yahtzee, but we did have a good time and we all ate well. Arleen joined us later and saved the night by taking care of the little ones.

 Later during the week we had great times visiting with everyone, and last night turned into taco night with Yahtzee following. One day we went to visit our friends Mark and Lidia at the park they are staying at for the winter. Mark and Lidia have been full timing for only 5-6 months, and we had met them in Yellowstone last month.

 One evening we had dinner with Mark and Lidia, and Bill and Priscilla, we had met Bill and Priscilla in Moab and spent a few days wheeling with them. It was at the Silver Saddle Steak House, and although the prices were a little high it worked out because the meals were large enough that we all split a meal and just ordered and extra salad. after eating Mark and Lidia came to the rig and we played cards for several hours. It is always great to meet up with friends all over the country.

 Friday we moved the rig from Tra-Tel to camp Arleen's. John had put in a 30 amp service and moved their motorhome into the back yard so we can just park the rig at Arleen's any time we are in the area. Tomorrow we will leave the great company and hospitality and head to Phoenix area where we will have the rig in the shop to straighten out the front end. We may have to bite the bullet and invest in 6 new tires for the Kountry Star.

 We will be meeting John and Pam in Laughlin Nevada for a weekend out, I told them we would need a couple weeks to drive that far, so Pam said we better hit the road............... until the next time...........

Friday, October 14, 2011

Deming New Mexico

Tuesday we pulled into Dream catcher RV Park in Deming NM. It was gr8 to see the Dub-uuus (Wanda and Wallace) First thing Wanda said was "I'll fix soup beans and cornbread tonight, and we'll go to Mexico tomorrow". Who can pass up soup beans and cornbread, or a trip to Mexico?

  We got the rig set up and a couple hours later a fifth wheel stops in the road next to our rig and Marty jumps out. We spent some time catching up until Marty decides he really should get his rig out of the middle of the road. (glad it isn't real busy here)

 Later we did happy hour, seeing friends we hadn't seen in months or even years. One thing about being an Escapee is you will run into friends at every Escapee Park. There was no organized happy hour, everyone just sat around the tables and visited.

 After happy hour we went to the dub-uuus and enjoyed a down home meal. Wallace grilled some chops, and Wanda had the beans and cornbread sitting on the counter waiting on us, with plenty of onions and tomatoes to top off the meal. The beans were this years crop, grown right here in Deming, and I'm sure the onions and tomatoes were from close by. Thank you DUB-UUUS............

 Then next morning we headed to Mexico, The PINK store. Marcia and I picked up some smokes at the duty free store before we walked into Mexico, Wanda checked on some glasses, and we all looked around the PINK store. (Algadonees outside of Yuma has the PURPLE store) The nice lady at the PINK store brought us a Margarita to sip on as we looked around.

 After looking around a bit we sat down to eat. The PINK store is a one stop place, all kinds of wares to buy, furniture, ornaments, liquor, nic naks, and they have the best food in town. The Dub-uuus are on first name basis with almost everyone in the PINK store, so we got an extra Margarita.

 Thursday we visited with Marty a little while before he went on a water run, and we went to check out a shop to look at the front end of the Kountry Star. While we were in MI this summer I noticed the right front tire was developing flat spots on it, so I've been watching it close. After Escapade it was getting worse so I started looking for a shop to inspect it.

 I had put a post on the forum about the tire and had some awesome responses as to what could cause the tire to get flat spots on it. Bottom line is I want a QUALIFIED shop to do any repairs, and Spartan couldn't tell me of one in NM. So Wallace said there was only one shop here in Deming that he would take it to, and after talking to them I'm going to let them look at it, but mainly I will have them rotate a couple tires so I can watch it to see if it might just be the tire bad. Any repairs will (unless they find something bad wrong) will come when we get to TX or AZ.

 Once we leave the tire shop we will have to decide which way to go when we get to I-10. East to see some of the south we haven't seen, or west to CA to use up some of our thousand trails time. Either way we will be in KY the second week of Dec to watch our daughter graduate from the University of Tennessee, and Q in Jan for the Class of 2007's 5 year reunion.................

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Last Balloon Pictures

These pictures are from Saturdays MASS Ascension.

Marcia and Jim are in the balloon with the black stripe near the top.

A better picture of the balloon "Morning Wood" Daniel is the pilot and Marcia and Jim are in the balloon with him.

I was "zoomed" in as far as my 10X zoom would get me.

If you enlarge this picture you can see Marcia and Jim waving at me.

I'm standing beside our RV taking these pictures.

Yes that is SN** on the mtns in the background.

Even Uncle Sam was flying.

Daniel is setting the balloon down where they change passengers. Marcia and Jim get out and Nancy and Terry got in for a short ride.

Here the "first time fliers" get their initiation. They knelt down as Chris told the story, and then the champagne hit.

Jim, Nancy, Marcia, and several others with the Escapee Boomers got up before daylight almost every morning, fought the cold and darkness, to crew for their pilots so these flights could happen. During the flights they drove and rode in chase trucks so they could help pack everything up so it would be ready for the next flight. They worked very hard, and got up really early to crew for these pilots, and they deserved a lot more than they got, but they all said the enjoyed it and would do it again.

I didn't get out of bed for the Farewell mass ascension Sunday AM, I had seen enough and it was too cold for me to stand out there taking pictures.
Over all the 2011 ABQ Balloon Fiesta was a lot of fun.