Friday, July 31, 2015

Redmond, Washington

July 31, 2015
We are at Traci and Ian's condo camping in the parking lot. We had a major tire failure on the freeway getting here. Judy was driving and the tread came off of the tire on the rear passenger side. It sounded like a bomb went off. She pulled over immediately and we looked under the car. We checked for a flat tire. The traffic was loud and busy. We were afraid to stop for very long and we were out in the middle of nowhere. The next exit was probably ten miles down the road. Judy said she thought she might have hit a tire tread. We jumped back in the van and went slowly for awhile listening for any problems. We drove for another hour on the tire with no tread and the wire showing through before we stopped. By that time part of the rear bumper had come off and the mud flap was hanging by a thread. We had passed a Discount Tire just before we stopped so we doubled back for repairs. Two days ago in Nampa I had been to Discount Tire for a tire rotation,  balance, and rotation.
Discount Tire did not have the exact tire match but provided us with a temporary replacement. We will get a permanent replacement in San Diego. We will fill out a claim form for the rest of the damages. Just another  epic road trip adventure.

KOA Pasco, Washington

July 30, 2015
After a nice visit, we left Nampa, Idaho at 9:45AM for a mostly driving day. We stopped in Baker at a park for lunch and in Richland at Walmart for food supplies. We camped at a KOA in Pasco, Washington for the night. It was 101 degrees when we arrived at our campsite. Today's forecast is 106  degrees. We are heading to Seattle to visit Traci and Ian and hopefully better weather.

We will be heading towards San Diego probably Monday morning. We will be stopping in San Luis Obispo, Carpenteria, Ventura, and any towns along the way where we might want to rent a home. Our tentative plans are to be in San Diego on August 18th. We will be house sitting and pet sitting until the end of the month at Ken's or if his plans change...

Road Art

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

More in Nampa

Wednesday Jody treated me to lunch at the LeBaron' Honked cafe in downtown Nampa. We split the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, string beans, and a roll. It was delicious. We had a really fun and entertaining waitress named Coco. We then went to Jody's chiropractor for me to get adjusted. This was my second time to see him and I think it is helping my nagging neck pain. 

Judy went for a bike ride with Bill and Ann Marie along the Boise Greenbelt. They rode for 30 scenic miles.

We have been staying in Monica out in front of Jody's house. The street is very quiet and we are able to plug into her house for electricity. The weather is good so we don't need to run the air conditioner.

Yesterday we had dinner with the family, ( Robert, Debra, LeeAnne, David, Alex, and Paige), at Jody's house. Jody and Judy made enchiladas, refried beans, guacamole, and Spanish rice.

We loved staying and visiting with Jody and her energetic dog Bella. Her and Bella have been so nice and generous sharing their space with us. 

Jody, Bella, And Judy

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nampa, Idaho Jody's House

July 26, 2015

We are staying out in front of Judy's cousins host in Nampa, Idaho for the next couple of days. I have a chiropractic appointment tomorrow to get an adjustment. I am so looking forward to the relief that comes with proper spine alignment.

Today we saw EBR1, (Experimental Breeder Reactor), at The Atomic Museum in Atomic City on our way to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

We are getting to the hard part of our journey. We are slowly on our way back to California, but we have no place to call home. Now that it is getting closer we realize we have to settle on a town and find a place to rent.

Making adjustments
Punky pushing the BUTTON 
Crater of the Moon
Crater of the Moon lava
People walking up to a lookout point

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Movin' on Through

July 25, 2015
McCammon, Idaho

McCammon RV Park...sort of. Located by the Chevron Station next to the train tracks.
We went to Sink Canyon State Park in Lander, Wyoming. We saw the biggest trout, (twelve pounds or more), I have ever seen. Then we went to the Kemmerer Oyster Music Festival. I got a massage and we listened to music.

Sunset last night at Twin Pines RV Park
Sign outside coffee concession Kemmerer, Wyoming 
Red Canyon, Wind River Mountains, WY
Big trout

Kemmerer, Wyoming July 25, 2015

I got a great massage at a booth set up at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival. My neck and back have been bothering me so I hope to get some relief.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Twin Pines RV Park

July 24, 2015
Lander, Wyoming

The Anonymous Travelers" are back home in San Diego. They made it there on Monday the 20th.

We haven't had much cell service for the last couple of days. We like to avoid the big Interstate roads and set Monica on cruise control and let the miles roll by. The clouds have been really awesome. We like to listen to music, podcasts and talk. We have grown much closer on this trip. It amazing what can happen when you toss your whole world upside-down and live in a 18 foot van for three months. More on this later.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mt. Rushmore

July 23, 2015
Keystone, South Dakota
We are in the same campground Kemps Camp as yesterday only in a different site.

We saw Mt. Rushmore today. It was bigger and more interesting than I had thought. What an amazing achievement and a work of art.

Judy went for a bike ride on one of the trails they have made from the old railroad tracks. 

this is the park where Judy started her ride
Flower art

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, North Dakota

July 22, 2015
Keystone, North Dakota

Motorcycle Rally this weekend. The roads are getting more and more filled with motorcycles. Motorcycles, Motorcycles, motorcycles we see it all here because we're getting very near Sturgis North Dakota. They are having the big epic motorcycle Rally in three days.

Train coming near campground 4:30PM Nice horn!

Sitting outside in lawn chairs while it's raining.

Suanne diesel $2.35

Regular $2.67 South Dakota

Judy working out on the road

The view from my office
The view from my Pumpkin's office.
The view also from my office
Nice view
Havin' Fun
Our flag at half mast again

Self portrait 

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Wizard of Oz

July 21, 2015 Kennebec, South Dakota

We are staying at The Kennebec KOA in South Dakota. The brochure Q&A reads; Yes, the wind does blow like this all the time. Our average daily high wind is 25 mph but we can have wins of 75 mph or more. The average yearly rainfall is 18" and it all comes on holiday weekends.  Our annual temperature range is 150 degrees,  from -40 to +110 degrees Fahrenheit. The closest McDonald's is 35 miles, the nearest Walmart is 65 miles.

We stopped by The Corn Palace this afternoon, in Mitchell, South Dakota. It was like an indoor farmers market only they were selling tourist trinkets.

This place is right or of The Wizard of Oz. The wind is blowing the van around and you can see the storm moving in. It's starting to sprinkle now. The lady at the check in told us where the storm shelter was in case we needed it. One of the employees reminds me of The Cowardly Lion. We maybe off to see The Wizard before the night is through.

This is for Suanne; regular gas  $2.95, diesel  $2.65.

Monday, July 20, 2015


July 20, 2015
Welcome, Minnesota

We are staying at Welcome Campground for the night. It is a nice small, (less than 40 sites), quiet campground. 18 of the sites are for seasonal workers.

We rode our bikes over to the Winnebago Factory Tour this morning at 9AM. There were a lot of people from The WIT Rally. All of them white old people like us. I think they should rename themselves WOT, for White Old Travelers. I kid you not they were all over 50 and white.
There was a museum and a gift shop with Winnebago swag. Our tour guide said Winnebago  employs 2500 people mostly from Forest City and they had 200 job openings. He said they start out at $13 and make up to $16 dollars an hour. Forest City has a population of a little over 4100 so Winnebago employs more than half the town at their factory.

After the tour we went to Lichtsinn RV to test drive a Winnebago View or Atasca IQ. They are virtually the same rig and one of them will be our next RV. We test drove a Navion IQ. It is built on the same Mercedes chassis as Monica. If we bought one from Lichtsinn then we would have to name the rig Forest or City to keep with our naming convention. We bought Monica in Santa Monica, hence the name.

We are on our way to "The Dead Presidents", Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota and we should be there in a couple of days.

clay model $12,000 to make
this is the model we want
Winnebago Swag
where we are camping tonight
Welcome sign photos by Judy