Saturday, September 28, 2013

WOW, it has been awhile

I just looked at my last blog post and we have put on a lot of miles since I made a post.

 I guess Face Book and the smart phone has just about replaced doing a blog. When you can put a post online right then and there almost anywhere you are makes it too easy and I forget to sit down at the computer and type out a blog post.

 So I will try to catch you up....

 We left Raccoon Valley as soon as I had finished my doctors appointments. Our first stop was the casino in Cherokee NC. Marcia was driving Jon's car and I was driving the MH pulling the jeep. Corey was keeping Jon's car for him while he was in Afghanistan and we were taking it back to Ft Stewart so Jon could have it when he returned home.

 After driving the MH over the Smokey Mtns from Pigeon Forge to Cherokee I was ready to relax for a day or two. We parked the MH in the designated RV area. We went in to make our donation and to let them know we would be spending the night there. We had intended on spending a couple days there, but the casino has a one night only rule, so the next morning we headed south.

 It was a good day for driving, but Marcia driving Jon's car and me driving the MH wasn't as much fun as when Marcia is in the MH with me. Vidalia GA was our next stop, we would spend a couple nights there while we visited Lisa and her family.

 The next stop would be Ft Stewart GA. George (the camp host) had some disturbing news for us when we pulled in, he informed us they only had one site available for 4 nights. That wasn't what we wanted because Jon would be home until the fifth night. Tuesday morning when the Fam-Camp office opened we went in to pay and check on staying longer. Kathy (the manager) informed us they would be full but she would do some checking to see if she couldn't work something out.

 Later that day George came by and told us we could stay 7 days but we would have to move to a different site. We were happy because that would give us two days past the day Jon returned. We figured out the reason for the Fam-Camp being full in southern GA in August. The fam-camp has 20 sites, one taken by the camp host, and 15 being used by active duty soldiers. Apparently some of the active duty stationed at Ft Stewart have chosen to buy an RV and live in it rather than living in government housing or renting a house there. The major problem with that is the fam-camps aren't set up to be government housing.

 We did our week there, we welcomed Jon and his unit home from a 10 month deployment. We got to have dinner with him and a few of the others in his section. With Jon having all the debriefings and getting settled in to his new room in the barracks we didn't get to spend as much time with him as we wanted to, but we were thankful for the time we did get to spend with him.

 Our next stop was the Fam-Camp at Mayport FL. This Fam-Camp is NE of Jacksonville FL, it is on the St Johns River and the Atlantic ocean. You can sit in your rig and watch ship go in and out, or you can walk a half mile or so to the beach. A very unique military installation.

 Our next stop would be one of my favorite, Seasons in The Sun RV Resort in Mims FL. We stopped there a few years ago and liked it so we keep returning when we are in that area. Most of the time we are there, there aren't too many other campers there. Most of the regulars haven't made it to FL for the winter, or they have already left for the summer. I guess that is one of the things we like best, we have the entire park almost to ourselves.

 We delayed our departure a couple times for one reason or another, the latest was because our rear ac unit quit working and we couldn't get it into a shop until Wednesday. We enjoyed the quiet of an almost empty rv resort for almost two weeks. For several days the rear ac wouldn't work, but when the service tech checked it, it worked perfect. I know the good lord upstairs had some reason for us spending half a day at camping world (the only place that could look at the ac that week).

 Now we are at John Pennekamp Corral Reef State Park for a week. This will give us a chance to see what the upper Keys has to offer......................

Monday, August 19, 2013

Just Waiting Around

  Once we left CGNHP we wound up at the Escapee RV Park near Knoxville. I.m not fond of a few changes the Escapees have made to their park systems, in fact the only reason we will be staying at any of the escapee parks is to visit friends. Raccoon Valley is no exception, the "dub -u-s" Wanda and Wallace are here for a couple months.

   One of the changes to the escapees park system is you pay for your site up front. That causes me to determine how long or how many days we will be here, and anyone that knows me knows that isn't something I know nor is it something I want to decide right now. (unless right now is when I want to leave). So in an effort to save a few $$ I was forced to say a week, (with no refund if you depart early).

  We had a few good meals with the "dub-u-s", and Corey brought Miss Jaelynn over a couple times to entertain us. We took a day and got the rig all cleaned up, it was as bad as it has ever been because the rainy wet summer here kept me from cleaning all summer. Figure that in with the rain under the trees at CGNHP and you can imagine how bad it was. But thanks to rangers Caroll and Scott the walnut tree that has stained our rig for the past three years will stain nothing else. It was cut down the day after we left.

 Our week at Raccoon Valley ended and I had to make another decision, stay, go, how long to stay???? Figuring in my appointment (s) (another one has been added) and the fact that Jenelle is selling her house and everything she has to move to Lutz FL to finish her graduate school, and the thoughts of saving a few $$ we paid up for another week.

 Thursday Corey brought Miss Jaelynn over, this was her last chance before starting school so they spent the night. Corey must have heard about our rig entertaining 8, dinning 4, and sleeping 2, because he brought their air mattress and they slept in the back of their SUV. Even though they are on the short list of exceptions we make for spending the night in the rig.

  Friday didn't go exactly as planned, we decided Jenelle needed our help more than we needed to play. I used the pressure washer to clean her driveway, patio, and front porch, while Marcia and Corey manned the yard sale while Jenelle kept busy going through her stuff deciding what she could take with her and what she had to get rid of, and Jaelynn entertained Aidan, ( Jenelle's Dog).

  We were very lucky with the weather because the rain held off all day Friday while the yard sale was going on, and all day Saturday too. Sunday was a different story though, the rain is back, and so is the pain in my back. Something about the deteriorating disks in my back and rainy weather just don't mix.

 Monday will be a free day with 0 plans, but Tuesday and Wednesday we will be doing the doctor things again. No way I could get the two appointments for the same day so we will be driving up Tuesday and back on Wednesday. If rain had not been forecast for so many days we would have driven the rig up and headed east on I-64 out of Lexington, but the rainy forecast convinced me to hang around and do one night in a motel.

 Thursday or Friday we will leave here headed for Ft Stewart GA where our son Jonathan will be returning from Afghanistan. This is his second tour in the "sand box", one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, he also did two tours in Korea while serving our country in the U S Army. It will be really good to see him home again.

 From there we will slowly drift south to the Southern Most Gated RV Community, in Key West FL.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another season almost gone

 Where does the time go? It seams like yesterday we were pulling into our site here at the CGNHP, but in reality we only have four nights left here. Marcia will put in her time at the visitors center this weekend and then we will start packing everything up and getting everything done before we head out on the 31st.

 Marcia has been busy this year, she has done several hikes with the last one being almost 12 hours. Marcia, Beth, Ranger Caroll and Corey did the hike up to the sand cave and the white rocks. The white rocks has been a land mark for travelers for many many years. Daniel Boone used the white rocks a guiding landmark when he blazed a trail from the east to the wild wild west.

 We took a day trip to Big South Fork National recreation area. It is a beautiful park with a very nice campground. It has two campgrounds one in KY and one in TN, we checked out the one in TN. I was SHOCKED when we saw only two campers in the entire park, and one of those was a host. The only draw back was the road going in from the east, it was a winding road with very steep grades and sharp curves. Driving the road in the truck showed me not to take the RV there, and that might be why the CC is empty.

 When we sit for an extended time it makes it really hard to do a blog, so maybe when we leave I will do better at keeping the blog more up to date....
 But until then it is what it is...........................

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer is here

  With all the crazy weather we have been having in the US the past few years it is hard to say what the normal weather should be at any given time or place. We left KW thinking we could follow the warmth as it migrated north. Well we were wrong, we did avoid any 30's, but we had 40's a couple times since leaving KW. With the low hitting 57 while we were in KW we have seen colder temps in May and June, but summer is officially here and we "should" be good to go until next year.

  We are close to half way through our volunteer position here at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park this year, and the buck list of things to get done here is no where close to being half way. I keep trying to figure out where the time goes and what we have done since we have been here and all I can see is we eat a lot.

 We have done a few things, the Gap Cave tour is one we do every year, and this year Miss Jaelynn was able to go. She enjoyed it but not as enthused as I thought she would be. We also spent fathers day with Jenelle and Corey at Hensley's settlement. Several people were dressed in era clothes and demonstrating how they lived there back in the early 1900's. Marcia and Corey had a booth set up selling wares for Eastern National, and Jenelle and I wandered around seeing and learning about how life was 100 years ago on top of the mtn.

 I think I have pretty much got all my doctors appointments set up to do when we are here, and this year everything is going really well. I had cyst removed from my back, had my ex-rays, and my annual doctor appointment. Next week I do the follow up on the surgery, and the first week in July I will do my hearing tests. I think I will wind up getting hearing aids because everyone I know has started talking softer and quieter.

 We will be here until the 1st day of Aug. + or - a day, and where we go from here all depends on the "etch-a-sketch". The only plans so far is being back in Key West the first week in Oct so Marcia can start her camp-hosting position. That allows us 2 months to get to KW, I guess I'll have to rush a bit but I think we can do it........................

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Good for another year

We got moved to our little site the CGNHP provides us while we volunteer. This year we pulled into the site to give us a little more privacy, and everything worked out well. Except the trees have grown some and I haven't been able to find the satellite for direct TV. So we ordered a Winegard Carryout so maybe it will find the satellite and we will have TV again. I get to set it up today.

 The 4th was my annual doctor appointment, and my eye appointment, and the 5th I had ex-rays, and an appointment to have a place removed from my right armpit so we got a room at the Hyatt and spent the night in Lexington.

 The Dr appointment went well, he refilled all my meds and gave me a good examination. He found an irregularity in my prostate so he referred me to an urologist which I got to see on the 5th. He found the same irregularity and decided it was nothing major but we needed to keep an eye, (or finger) on it so I go back next year.

 The eye doctor said all was well and my prescription hadn't changed much since my last exam and he wrote me a presciption so I could get new glasses. I spent the rest of the day with my eyes dilated so I was fighting the sunshine, but that part was all over and done with. A trip to Sam's club and I now have a new set of glasses being sent to me.

 Then we checked into the Hyatt, it is connected to Rupp Arena where the UK wildcats play their home basketball games. A huge place, a very over priced hotel, and down town Lexington. After we got settled in the room I took a nap hoping my eyes would be back to normal when I got up. The nap wasn't long enough but it was time to eat so we started walking around the area looking for a place to eat.

 I have never felt more like a fish out of water as I did walking around amongst all those big buildings, handicapped by dilated eyes. We passed by several pubs with tables on the sidewalks, but nothing really jumped out and said eat here. After a while we came upon one pub and I sat down and said how about here? Marcia was quick to notice the 93 score by the health department and said no. So we made it back to the hotel parking lot and took the truck, we wound up at MacDonald's because they had easy parking.

 After a sleepless night, (I like my bed, and my pillows) we headed to the VA hospital to get ex-rays, meds filled, and EKG, and general surgery. There were a few mix-ups so I was able to see the urologist between all the other appointments I had to do. The problem spot in my armpit doesn't seam to be a problem any more so we all (the doctors, Marcia and myself) elected to remove a cyst from my back that had been getting larger and bothering me, so into surgery I went.

 They just numbed it to cut it out, I think they used something like a plasma cutter to cut it out. They put a "grounding" patch on my leg and every time she started cutting I heard a sound very much like a welding machine makes when someone is welding. Then the worst part came, I smelled the burning flesh, and knew it was my flesh that was burning. But all went well, I wasn't hurt too much, the cyst was gone, and the doctor got a little experience.

 Now we are back home and I'm having another sleepless night, but the doctors should be done for another year when we get to repeat it all again, less the surgery...............
OK I'm not writing a book so until the next time........................

Sunday, May 26, 2013

All most "HOME"

OK the title is a bit miss leading because home is where we park it and in the past six years we have been bless enough to be able to call home in all of the lower 48 states. Back to the title "home" is where we were born and raised, Middlesboro Kentucky, and we will be moving the rig to a spot the CGNHP provides for us when we volunteer that is in Middlesboro.

 Now we are at the campground located a few miles into VA. CGNHP is spread out over three states, KY, TN, and VA. The campground is located in the most western part of VA, only a couple miles from where KY, TN and VA meet. When people ask where we are from we often say, "if you look on a map and put your finger where KY TN and VA meet you will cover our old house.

 Since we left KW we have spent a few nights at repair shops, and I hope that doesn't start to be a trend. First it was the awning and water pump, then the gen set had to be repaired and serviced, and last week we had a circuit board go bad. So I hope we are good to go until we do a service on the rig for annual maintenance.  Since we will be sitting for most of this year I'm thinking we may wait until we come out of the keys next year before we do the annual service.

 It is good to see the kids, grands, and family we are looking forward to spending the next two months with them. Volunteering for the park gives us a place to park while we visit and it keeps us busy enough that we enjoy being parked for that long. ( 6 months in KW is going to be different )

 Tomorrow we will move the rig to "our" spot in Middlesboro (if the current occupants are gone) before we go to our first official family function, a cookout at Corey and Jennifer's.

Life is good, and we are blessed..................

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Northward Bound

  Spending the winter in Key West can spoil someone. We arrived in KW Jan 6th and left the first of April, the coldest temps we had was 57 degrees. A little below my 70 mark, but not near as bad as the last couple nights in Columbia SC where it got down to 44 degrees. This is mid MAY and it shouldn't get that cold, or I shouldn't be that far north.

  As everyone knows we brought a jet ski from Orlando to deliver to our son in Cumberland gap. Pulling doubles doesn't bother me at all, it does make getting fuel a little tricky if you don't watch out.
Monday Marcia left me sitting in Columbia SC. She took the jeep and the jet ski and took off to Cumberland Gap and I was left with the rig.

 Now for all of you out there that is just waiting for me to kick the bucket so you can latch on to the best wife in the world, or for the ones wanting to hook up with me to get all my $$ (both dollars) Marcia wanted to see Miss Jaelynn graduate pre kindergarten, and I wanted to stay where it was warmer until the last cold front moved through, so we decided she could go a head with the jeep and the ski and I would wait until the cold front passed before I brought the RV to Sevierville, and we would meet at River Plantation RV Resort today.

 Last night being one of my "those nights" I was up before the sun, in fact I had ate breakfast and had the RV ready to roll before the sun came up. I still had to have my headlights on as I pulled out of the FamCamp at Ft Jackson SC. (one of the hidden gems of FamCamps) Leaving that early I avoided most of the traffic around Columbia, and was eating lunch in Sevierville.

 As I pulled into the RV Park I noticed Marcia pulling in right behind me. I spent a couple days alone all hunkered down waiting on the cold front to pass, and Marcia had spent the time with our son and his family. It was pretty good timing for her to pull in right behind me.

 We visited with Billie Ford, a lady we met in KW a few years ago. She is unable to spend the winters in KW because of health reasons, but she still stays in her RV here at River Plantation during the summer. Tomorrow we will tour part of the Smokie Mtn National Park, ( Marcia needs to get her stamp from there) and Friday we will move the rig into the park or we will move to one of the state parks between here and the CGNHP where we volunteer June and July.

 It has only taken us six weeks to go from KW to Sevierville TN, and we have two more weeks to make it on up to the CGNHP.......... that will be a lot of driving in just two weeks..................

Monday, May 6, 2013

Slow migration north

I knew we should have stayed longer in the Keys. I have been telling myself that ever since we left, and next year Marcia's camp hosting position will keep us down there long enough. We stopped along the coast of GA and got caught between two nasty lows.

 The weatherman explained it all on TV, how the low in the Atlantic was just hanging around, and another low in the Gulf was slowly moving our way. The problem was the low in the Atlantic wasn't moving so the low in the gulf couldn't move, and we were caught in the middle. That gave us several days full of rain, wind, and nasty weather. We did survive, and tomorrow we will move a few more miles north.

 We still have a couple weeks before our first doctor appointment in Knoxville TN, so we will ease into SC tomorrow where we will spend a few days, maybe a couple weeks, at the TT Park. The length of the stay will depend on how we like the park and the area. Our two weeks in the TT system would be about the right timing for us to wind up in Knoxville for the first appointment. (we can stay at one park for two weeks in the TT system)

 We do still want to spend a day or two at the casino in Cherokee NC, and a night or two at a CG in Gatlinburg TN to visit a friend we met in KW a few years ago. Billie is unable to make the trip to KW for the winter anymore so we will have to see her in TN.

 Maybe the blackberries will bloom out soon.............

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flordia is in the Rear View

  Yesterday we left the hospitality of Cummins South Orlando, a look at the 7 day forecast was the deciding factor in when to leave. I try my best to avoid driving in the rain and the forecast gave a 40% chance of thunderstorms for everyday this week, so it was time to get somewhere for a few days in case the weather got me down.

 We had a pretty good winter in FL this year, December was cold, but the temps were really good down in the Keys Jan, Feb and March, although it was windy this year. I guess being right on the water played a big part in it being so windy.

  Last weeks we had several repairs done on the rv, I guess just like anything else in has things break and quit working. We still have a couple things that need taken care of, but maybe I will do them while we are in KY, or maybe I'll wait until I have to deal with them.

 The "Etch-a-Sketch" has us exploring the southeastern part of GA for about a week from Kings Bay Submarine Base. It is a small base, but the Fam-Camp is really nice. Concrete pads, full hook-ups, including cable tv, (that we don't use or need) and room between your neighbor. So we will see what we can find around the area to keep us entertained..............

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Where does the time go?

  Just yesterday I did a blog about us hanging out in Mimms, well at least is seems like yesterday but looking at the calender I see we have been here at the Thousand Trails in Clermont for two weeks already.

  We left Mimms and went to Campers Connection to have some things repaired on the RV, (nothing major) that was two weeks ago today. They guys at Campers Connection were great, they did the inspections required for our extended warranty and told us they would call us and let us know when to bring it back for the repairs.

 Our membership with the Thousand Trails came in real handy since the Orlando TT is only a few miles from Campers Connection, so that is where we went to hang out until we got the call to take the RV back in for the repairs after the extended warranty gave their approval.

 The park is OK but not one of my favorite choices. The hot tub is nice, the two pools are heated, the weight room has several tread mills and a couple weight lifting gadgets, and the club house has a lot to offer in the way of things to keep you occupied. But a lot of the people seem to go from one TT park to the next and we have a hard time connecting with RV'ers that want a TT park to be their home. Nothing good or bad it's just not our desires.

 We got to see Jean and Dave while we were here, but I didn't get one of Jean's famous Massages. ( she is the best ) And we did meet several new friends here, Marcia played "pickle ball" a few days. Thanks to all the pickle ball players for helping her out, she is learning. I even hit a few balls with her a couple times, but it didn't take long before I knew I would be paying for it later. In any competition I want to give 110% but my medical conditions won't let do the physical parts so I end up paying the next day.

 We got our direct TV straightened out, the guy came out and checked out the KVH dome on the roof, set us up with two regular boxes and arranged for us to send the gennie back, and our monthly bill dropped almost $20. Although we are not happy with the used box he gave us trying to save us a few bucks and make a few extra bucks for himself. If we don't get it straightened out I will be doing a very negative blog about him in a couple days.

  The other day Walt and Donna drove over to visit and we went to Manny's for a fabulous steak. Walt and Donna just happen to be the very first rv'ing couple we met back in May of 2007 at a Live on Wheels rally in Bowling Green KY. While we were visiting and enjoying the good steak at Manny's we talked about some good times we have had together. One of the "good times" was at "The Oaks Bar and Grill" near Seffner FL.

 We had such a good time at the oaks we decided we would find out if they still do the all you can eat rib like they did two years ago when we all were in that area. (its about an hours drive from where we are now) Walt being the good guy that he is offered to find their number and call to see if they still had the all you can eat ribs, if it was still $10, and what night they had it.

 The following day we got the call, Tuesday nights, YES, all you can eat ribs, and YES still $10, so we got the "Etch-a-Sketch" out and made the plans for a rib devouring night. ( I might have traced over the lines with a sharpie so they wouldn't get erased by that Etch-A-Sketch).

 Yesterday afternoon as soon as the mail room here at the TT park opened we got the package to send the gennie back to direct tv. Then we were off to Lakeland FL to meet up with Walt and Donna at their new home, then Walt drove us all to THE OAKS BAR and GRILL where we pigged out on some FANTASTIC RIBS. Where else can you get all you can eat ribs for 10 bucks? Now these are some good BBQ ribs that fall off the bone when you pick them up.

 Today we take the rv back to Camping Connection to get the repairs the extended warranty is going to pay for, and as soon as they are finished we head to Cummins of Orlando to get the gen repaired, (that's a whole nuther story)..
SO stay safe and until the next time....................

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hanging out in Mims

We left KW a week ago, spent the first night at the casino where Beth (Marcia's BFF from KY) treated us to the seafood buffet. I think it was $19.95 and she got a buy one get one free coupon for signing up for the casino's players club. I'm not a sea food guy, but I do like my crab legs and shrimp. Beth and myself did a number on some grab legs that night, and I have to say they were the best crab legs I have ever had. All of them were huge legs and they had them hot or cold. Thanks again Beth...

The next day we drove to what has turned out to be one of our favorite Passport America Parks, Seasons in the Sun. It advertises as a motorcoach resort, but there are a lot of 5ers and a few tag alongs mixed in with the "motorcoaches". The park has a nice clubhouse, two swimming pools (1 heated) and my favorite, a hot tub.

 We enjoyed the sunshine at the beach a couple days before Beth had to fly back to KY. I know we always say our home on wheels entertains 8, dines 4, and sleeps 2, but there are a few people we make exceptions for, like our kids and Beth. Then we had a couple days of "bad" weather, a cold front came through and there were a few thunder storms north and south of us, but we we blessed and only got the rain and wind. When the front came through it got the better of me and I spent a couple days in bed re-couping.

 Today Ron and Elaine stopped by, they are the first Escapees we met while on the road back in 2007. We were both staying in the Lexington KY area and Marcia and I road our motorcycles to the CG they were staying at and spent the afternoon together. Tonight we enjoyed an outstanding Chinese buffet here in Mims. Thanks Ron and Elaine for a terrific afternoon and evening.

 Now we are hanging out waiting for our appointment to take the rig to a shop to have a few things repaired. The AC/heat pump we had replaced a couple years ago is making a lot of noise so we are having that checked out. Our water pump quit working a few days ago and since we bought the extended warranty we will let them change it out and pay the deductible which is half the cost of the pump, and I don't have to do the changing.

 After that we will take the Kountry Star back to Cummins and have them fix the gen that quit working just after we had them change the fuel and air filter back in Jan. I'm thinking the guy that changed the fuel filter messed up the cooling system when he was fighting with the upper fuel hose while changing the fuel filter, so I want them to fix it if it does turn out to be their goof-up.

 Depending on how long the repairs take I'm thinking we will move up to the Jacksonville area sometime next week. There are several military fam-camps in that area and I want to check them out.
 From Jacksonville we have nothing on the "etch-a-sketch" until Marcia's eye appointment in Knoxville TN the last week of May.

Sorry no pictures today, but there is always tomorrow.....

Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Volunteer Gig and Good-Bye KW

  Last weekend the Navy's Blue Angles preformed here in KW and Marcia had us down to volunteer to help. Once I found out she had me down to volunteer I quickly ask her to remove me from the list. I just had a feeling it wouldn't be a good thing to volunteer for.

 Marcia had told one of her BFF's from Middlesboro about the Blue Angles coming to KW and naturally Beth wanted to come down to see and help. Beth is always volunteering for something, she has been a volunteer for the Bell County Rescue Squad for years, she was there when Marcia and I was volunteers in the rescue squad back in the 90's.

 Beth ask her hubby Steve if it would be OK for her to come down and visit a couple weeks and Steve being the loving husband that he is said sure, but we all know he really didn't want her to be away from him, but considering the warmth down here and the cold up there he knew she would feel better here so he encouraged her to come. So she jumps on a plane and flys down.

 So Marcia and Beth did the volunteering for the Blue Angles Show. The Air show was two days and their volunteer "jobs" had them working Sunday, that left Saturday for them to see the show. Myself I've BTDT (been there done that) and wouldn't fight the crowd with all the crazy people so I stayed home and watched the Blue Angles from the CG. I did miss all the smaller planes doing their stunts, but I didn't get trampled by the crowds.

Here is the ONLY picture I took of the Blue Angles.
Another sponsor of the air show was Budweiser and they had the famous Budweiser Clydesdales down here. They had to  take the big horses down town Key West to make a few deliveries, we all know how the "PR" stuff works. Several bars in KW had made donations supporting Budweiser and the air show so the Clydesdales we used to deliver a few cases of beer.
Marcia and Beth were all excited about seeing them and wanted to go down to one of the bars and wait for them to make the delivery. I suggested we go to Truman Annex and watch them unload the horses and hitch them up. The crowd was a lot smaller at the annex than it was on Duval St and we all got a lot better and longer view.

Getting them ready for the beer run.

Rolling out onto the road to make the delivery.

As it turned out we had one of the best views and got to see a lot more and to top it off there wasn't near as many people crowding us.
Here in KW the bars came up with an idea to have a crawl, it's not a new idea but this one would be the Duval Crawl. You buy a ticket and that entitles you to a drink at certain bars from one end of Duval to the other. You get to start at the Atlantic Ocean and finish at the Gulf of Mexico. The cops will even stop traffic for you if you need to crawl across Duval.
In the same spirit the campground here at NASKW Sigsbee has what they call the "Campers Crawl". You can sign up to crawl or to host, we elected to be a host on this one. We broke out the famous MARGARATOR
for this special event. We were the first of four stops, (its almost the end of the winter season here and about 65% of the campers have left KW already) We had about 20 crawlers stop in for sample from the              MARGARATOR                 and I opened a bottle of chili pepper vodka we had bought in Mexico last year. I was surprised at how many tried and liked the hot chili pepper vodka, a few thought it was a little too hot. Everyone enjoyed the margaritas and when the crowd moved on to the next stop we fell in behind them and finished the crawl with them.

This was the second stop on the crawl, I stayed back away from the crowd so I don't even know what they were serving. Each host picked a drink (or two) to serve.

The last stop had made a cute little sign out of the cheese.

A few days later a cold front was making its way to KW. I don't understand how all the people north of us could let that happen, but it did. Now cold fronts bother my bones and I usually have a bad day or night just before a front comes through. This was no exception and it was one of those sleepless nights. But the weather was warm, about 75 degrees at 3:30 Am and I could see a string of thunder storms rolling by just north of us. A warm night, can't sleep, and a thunder storm rolling by, I had to go out and sit by the water and watch. It was very dark, but when the lightning flashed it lit things up pretty well so I decided to try and catch a few pictures. Do you realize how hard it is to anticipate a lightning flash? I did get a couple pics in the half hour or so that I was watching.

Lightning was the only source of light in these pics, other wise it was almost totally dark outside when I took them.
Our time here in KW is all but over, Tomorrow/ today now, we will hitch up the jeep and point the nose north. We plan on a long day, (150 miles) to the casino just outside of Miami, then on towards Tittusville for a few days or weeks. So until the next time............

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Still Hanging Out in Key West

While we have been here in the Keys I have taken a few pictures, and thought it would be nice to share some of them with everyone.
This is one of our "dry camping" spots. This one was when we first arrived in Jan.
Marcia is always looking to help any way or any where. This is where we volunteered to help with the "Bone Island Tri-athalon", and they way we were treated it will be the last time we help them.

                             This is one of the flying fellows we have encountered here on the island.

An afternoon at the "Turtle Krawlz" and enjoying their "bucket of bones" (ribs)and this was our view.

Another volunteer gig that had us down town before sunrise, this was for the half marathon and they really treat their volunteers well. I ask them if the would wait until noon next year, but they said the runners would get too hot so I guess we can get up early one day a year.

We bought a Sea Eagle Kayak to enjoy here in the Keys, and anywhere else we may find a body of water to explore. It folds up pretty small when you let the air out.

Friends and Class mates Ron and Linda made it to Key West this year and what is a trip to the keys without a picture or two showing you were here?

This is one of the sunsets at Mallory Square.

When Bob and BJ arrived we had to have a get-together.

The famous, and endangered Key Dear

Yes the MARGARATOR has made a few appearances

Bob celebrated his 70th birthday here in the Keys and we were honored to help him. This is the view at Giger Key Fish Camp and Marina where we had his birthday dinner.

Wayne and Sandy, Ron and Linda, Bob and BJ, and Marcia and myself waiting on the birthday cake.

After a few drinks and a terrific dinner we stopped by the rig to mix up some more margaritas before heading down town to continue celebrating Bob's birthday. (as if we needed a reason to celebrate)

Several of the crowd were sipping heavy on the margaritas so a trip by the southern most point with pictures was in store. We did have designated drivers so all was good.
Ron and Linda

The Birthday Boy and BJ

Wayne and Sandy

Here is a view from the roof of our rig when we returned to dry camping.

Now we are in full hookups and this is the view I have while sitting at my desk.

And this is the view out the front window.

Life on the Island has been pretty darn good this year, The weather has been pretty good too, and some of the people we have met and spent time with is priceless......

Sunday, February 17, 2013

NASKW in Feb

 Here it is already the 17th of Feb 2013. The weather here in KW has been almost perfect for me, the highs have been in the upper 70's and the lows have been in the lower 70's. Today that changed, it got down to 53 last night, and the high barely made it to 60. I sure am glad it is only one day that the high won't be in the 70's.

 We have not used our "Mr Buddy" heater since we left AZ last year, although I would have it out today if this cold spell was going to last more than one day. We did use the heat pump on top of the RV while we were in full hook-ups for a couple nights. Maybe this will be the last cold snap and we won't have to dig it out.

 KW being a tourist trap outside of the Navel Air Station we have kept to the confines of the Base for most of our time here. We do take the occasional trip down Duval St to watch the people, and of course being a member of the LEO club we do venture out to eat several times a week. My two favorite places are McDonald's (thanks to Corey giving us the discount card) and Denny's where they have to $2 $4 $6 & $8 menu. We have patronized some of the local places but it is hard to justify spending the extra $$ just to say we have eaten there.

 Marcia has volunteered to help out during the Blue Angles Air Show next month so I guess we will be hanging out in KW until the end of March or the first of April. We really have no plans except being back in KY for June and July where we volunteer at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and stopping at Cummings South in Orlando to get the generator repaired. It quit working a couple days after they replaced the filters in Jan.

 Not much exciting is going on so I don't have a lot to tell about our stay here in KW and besides I do keep everyone informed on FaceBook, so until the next time.....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Livin on Island Time

  I haven't figured out why everyone says "living on Island time" because the clocks don't change, drivers don't slow down, and the sun rises and sets the same as anywhere else. Maybe it is for the tourists that come and spend their money, or the retirees that come down to enjoy the weather. What ever the reason we are living on Island time.

  Our friends and class mates Ron and Linda arrived a few days ago, and Marcia had spaghetti waiting on them so they didn't have to worry about cooking on a long travel day. They were able to get the site right next to us and we enjoyed their company, but when our turn came Saturday in the rotation we took the full hook-up site, and left Ron and Linda sitting in the dry-camping area.

 During our move to FH's I did something to my back. At lunch time I knew I was going to have a rough few days ahead of me. I am happy we got all set up after the move and we are on full hook-ups before my back decided to ground me for a few days. By Saturday evening I was pretty much out of commission. Sunday I was able to crawl out of bed long enough to eat and then back to bed. Monday I was able to get up and even walk around the park some, and now I'm OK as long as I don't move too fast or the wrong way, so I'll be even slower than Island Time.

 Our new Sea Eagle Kayak still has never been in the water, the wind has been blowing too much to get out on the water, but maybe I'll be ready by the time the wind dies down. The weather has been so nice, I can't even complain about it. Highs in the upper 70's and lows in the lower 70's. We did have a couple nights where it got down to 67, but hay this is Jan.

 What we do the next few days will be determined by how my back is, so we will just kick back and enjoy the weather........................

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Giving Back

 We have been back in Key West for two weeks now, the weather has been as perfect as anyone could hope for. Highs in the 70's and lows in the 70' for the most part. We have had a couple rain showers pass over, and the wind has blown a few days, but as long as we don't need to run the AC or a heater I'm a happy camper.

 We have found that giving back in the way of volunteering has its rewards. The main reward is knowing that we are helping some where some how, and then there is the tee shirt. Two weeks ago they held a triathlon here in KW and we volunteered to help out. It wasn't one of our better volunteer gigs and we won't be helping them again. The lack of planning and support for the volunteers on the bike ride route was as close to non existing as you can get, so we will let that one pass next year.

 Sunday they had a half marathon and the volunteers were treated right. They had a dinner for us Wednesday at the Turtle Krawal. The food was great and the beer was free and it was a great way for the half marathon staff to say thanks to us volunteers. After the race there were plenty of snacks for everyone and free beer. I really think they could cater to us that don't really care for beer a little better, but free is free so I had to have one before we finished the day. (at 10:30 AM)

 Monday the MWR, (moral, welfare, and recreation) department had a kayak trip set up that we did a long with 33 other people. For $5 you could rent a kayak, and $2 for a bus ride to Boca Chica where we put the kayaks in. A couple guides guided us around the bay and through the mangroves between Boca Chica and Stock Island. It was a tiring couple of hours, but still a lot of fun.

 Sometime this week we should rotate into full hook-ups, these past two weeks have been dry camping. That is without having the advantage of electricity and plumbing provided by the rv park, but then our rv like most rv's are set up fully self contained. We have holding tanks for fresh water, grey water, (shower and sinks) and black water, (toilet). We have an inverter that converts our 12 volt batteries into 110 electricity, and a generator that provides electricity to charge the batteries. We do have to dump the tanks and replenish the fresh water and watch our batteries so when we do rotate into full hook-ups it will be nice to be plugged in.

 Ron and Linda Fleeger arrived here in KW a couple days ago, and there was a spot right next to us open so they took it. It is always good to meet up with class of 2007 mates, but it is extra good when they are parked next to us in Key West FL where the weather is almost perfect..............

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Found the Seventies at last

 Almost six years ago while driving from Lexington KY to our home in Middlesboro KY we made the decision to sell everything, buy an RV, and Chase the Seventies. The decision was made to keep me from going crazy when the temps dropped into the 60's and below because I stayed inside where it was warm so I was spending a lot of time inside the house from November through May.

 We picked a date less than six months away as a goal to start our new life style, and before the date had rolled around we had sold almost everything or had given it away, we had bought a 37" class A motor home, and had moved the mattress out of the house into the RV. Our adventure of " chasing the 70's" had started.

 We spent time in all of the lower 48 states, done the big event in Quartzsite, and spent the winters in the Southwest, Florida, and South Texas. We found out the the 70's are a lot harder to find than we thought they could be. We found the desert of the Southwest to be too cold after the sun set, sometimes there could be a 40 degree swing in the high and low and that didn't help my bones any.

 After freezing our butts off last year in AZ and CA we decided to return to Key West FL for the winter. This winter KW has the perfect weather for me, (so far), The 10 forecast shows the highs to be in the upper seventies, and the lows to be in the lower seventies, with only a slight chance of rain. So for now we have found those allusive seventies......and will be spending several weeks here on the island of Key West.......................

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Where did 2012 go?

 How many times will we write or say 2012 when we all know it is 2013 now? I know every year I try to not make that mistake but find myself doing it, and sometimes it happens six or seven months into the new year.

 Ringing in the new year Marcia and I found the "Etch-a-sketch" uncontrollably shaken up. The plan on it when we left the TT Park in Clermont was a quick stop at Cummins to get a new oil plug, and then for us to be south bound. But: not only did we need a new oil drain plug, we also need a main bearing seal for the motor, and a gasket for the hydraulic reservoir.

 Spartan Chassis is covering the costs on the gasket and drain plug since the leaks started shortly after they serviced the coach, and the extended warranty we purchased back in January should cover the main seal with us only having to pay the deductible.  I said "should" cover the cost, as it turns out they will be sending an inspector out to check the seal.

  The Holiday has caused us to be put on hold while everyone celebrates, which is no real problem, Cummins is providing us with a very nice place to park with water and 50 amp service so we adjusted our plans.

 New Years eve we drove back to the TT park and enjoyed an evening with our friends Dave and Jean. The park threw a big party with live entertainment and we had a table with Dave and Jean and two other couples that are friends with Dave and Jean. It was a good way to ring in the new year.

 New Years day we headed east, as far east as we could drive, and then we walked a couple hundred yards across the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean. What better way to spend New Years Day than basking on a sunny beach watching the waves roll in? The water was a little too cold for us to get wet, but the sun had the sand feeling really good.

 Yesterday we found out we might be here a few more days. Spartan sent the gasket we need by UPS Ground and it won't arrive until Friday, and the extended warranty insurance company will be sending an inspector out to check the leak, and then he has to file a report and send it back to the adjuster assigned to us. Then he will decide what is covered and how much $$ is allowed for the repair. I'm not sure I'm happy with that investment or not.

 I also called my brother Chuck yesterday, he recently took a job at First Southern Bank and his office is in Orlando. When I told him we were camped out at Camp Cummins he figured out that he has their travel trailer parked about 1/2 mile from us. We were able to get together last night for a few hours, and it is always good to spend time with my older brother.

 That brings us back to Cummins and the waiting game, we will hang out here waiting on the parts to get here and the yea or nay from the insurance company. The repairs can be done in a few hours, but the approval has been a six day wait so far. Just another reason I dislike holidays.......