Browsing Posts published by Allen

Some Like it Hot

Comments off


I’ve been ignoring my self prescribed duty of writing this blog. Now I’ve got to back track, but my memory is still fresh as I’m not really thinking about my day to day responsibilities.

Well, I didn’t get the job that I would have come home early for. I do have a job schedule Aug. 7th and 8th so I hope to be home early.

We left the dry heat of New Mexico on 7/21 and drove to the dry heat of Amarillo. While pondering the map book and not wanting to be on the road all day. I strongly suggested that we stop in Armarillo, TX for no other reason is that I noticed that this city in the Pan Handle had a State Park named Palo Duro Canyon. The Canyon was referred to as Texas’ Grand Canyon. Turned out there was no room at the campground so we stayed at a very plain RV park down the road. I’m glad we stayed. One of the cool sites in Armarillo is the Cadillac Ranch. Some of you might be familiar with the art installation created in 1971 by a wealthy Texas oil man. The installation is nine 1950s and 60s era Cadillacs with the noses buried in a line in the the corn fields, the big American tail fins pointing skyward. They are now a graphite platform. So many people enjoying themselves creating a very temporary design. That was really fun. I enjoyed watching and breathing in the fumes. After this we went to a very plain but excellent barbecue joint for dinner. Next we found and strolled on an old section of highway 66. Fun but not really exciting. It was so hot I was craving ice cream. I had the best Sundae I’ve ever had. Oh boy I can still taste it. This was likely my first Sundae in 3 years. I’ve saved the best for last: Advertised in the Canyon was a play called Big Texas. in it’s 53rd year. Starting at 8:30 in the evening. We got two tickets and scored excellent seats for this under the stars extravaganza about the history of Texas. It was a full theatrical musical event with a huge colorful cast , stage, props playing out in the vast colorful canyon wall as a backdrop. The show ended with fireworks celebrating Texas.

The next night, 7/23 we stayed at a Walmart Parking lot in Oklahoma. I bring this up not only because it’s a free nights stay but because it was so hot we decided to go out for dinner. We walked and by pure luck stumbled into a barbecue joint that was tucked into a lot of prefabricated.sheds. It was the best barbecue of the trip. The most interesting part of the evening was watching the Starlings, thousands of them fly in groups of hundreds over a field and through the Walmart parking lot and into a wetland. Fascinating for twenty minutes and then it was over

Next 7/23, Some like it hot. We stayed in a Army Core of Engineers State Park in Maumelle on the Arkansas River. I sighted some birds. a red headed woodpecker, a red headed goose and male and female swans. I had fun creeping up to take pictures. Yesterday 7/24,we rode our bikes into Little Rock. We went to a National Park Service Museum dedicated to the mid 1950s forced integration of Central High School. I’ll never seeing the high school in it’s beauty and witness to hate and promise.

Today 7/25 we drove to Memphis to visit my dear cousins Natalie and Shelley for breakfast, a trip highlight. Next time we’ll plan to stay longer. Here we sit in a Walmart parking lot. 95 degrees.

I’ve misplaced my camera. Hopefully I will find it, so I don’t have pictures to post.


Allen and I went on two more National Park Service tours yesterday in Mesa Verde. I find the tours of the Pueblo cliff dwellings, Cliff Palace and Balcony House, endlessly interesting. The Rangers take us to the site. We’ve had to squeeze through narrow rock passages, climb wooden ladders and at Balcony House crawl on our knees to get to these remote places, That’s a cinch for me but I was impressed by maneuvering and perseverance of some of the tourists. The Rangers, all excellent, present an overview and some facts about the dwelling construction and point out that the Pueblo’s didn’t have a written language so we have to leave a lot to our imagination. I like that. I didn’t like that my camera battery was dead.

New Mexico, Well I thought that Colorado was desert like. I didn’t realize the contrast between the two states. There are mountains in New Mexico, the Rockies. It rained a bit each day in Colorado.

The average temperature in this part of Mexico in July is 95 degrees. We are staying in Santa Rosa State Park overlooking a lake of the same name. One of the first things that I noticed was a flowering cactus. I was inspired to grab my camera and binoculars and amble off towards the lake.

I hiked around taking pictures and gazing at birds. I made it through some brush to the lake edge. I saw a black bird with a yellow head by the water. 2 black, maybe ducks flying low over the water and a small bird, gray with black stripes on his head. A hawk lifted off from behind me and I was startled through my binoculars at this enormous bird. I don’t usually wander off but I don’t want to loose out on an experience. I got lost and turned around trying to find my way back to the campground. I didn’t panic, as the sun was still high, Here I am and here are some of today’s photos. Through the massive RV window I watched the sun set over the lake.

Oh, we are hurrying back. I’m expecting a confirmation on a 4 day job starting 7/30

Mesa Verde Day 2

Comments off

I am particularly proud of getting the Finch shot. I got to with in 4 feet and shot this with a 35mm lens. I love my new binoculars and enjoy watching and identifying birds. Fascinating. I think I’ll add my other finch shot too.

7/16 Mesa Verde, Day 1

Comments off

Mesa Verde is an endlessly interesting site. I enjoy spending time looking at the Pueblo Indian sites as much as I enjoy the absolute quiet of our campsite. We wnt to an outdoor amphitheater and Ranger gave an Astronomy talk Lucky for us it was a cloudless night. We went a few days without internet and I was busy. I’ll try to look backwards if time permits. Here are some photos. I love the trees.??????? Petroglyph C.U..JPG ?

Mesa Verde 7/16

Comments off

Every picture tells a story. ? Wild flower more wind.JPG ?? wildflowers.JPG ?? Yellow flower and pinot tree.JPG ?? Yucca with fruit.JPG ? ? Juniper.JPG ?? Old Growth Juniper.JPG ?? Old Growth Pinot Tree.JPG ?? Our campsite.JPG ?? Petroglyph C.U..JPG ?? Petroglyphs.JPG ?? Sandstone rock formation.JPG ?

July 9th and 10th

Comments off


Today we hiked over 11 miles and climbed about 1300′ in just under 5 hours. Allen’s Fitbit on his wrist calculated 22,000 steps. I am 1 foot shorter than Allen,let’s say I took 25,000 steps. That’s just data.

We were on the Colorado River Trail at the Little Yellowstone Trail Head in Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ve never been to Yellowstone, but I read that the baron steep rock panoramas and monuments resemble Yellowstone. The petite river was way below It was a spectacular view. I’ve attached a few pictures. This is the headwaters of the Colorado River. It was another beautiful day.

The Colorado state flower is the Columbine. Here is my picture. The red flower is Indian Paintbrush. I was also very excited to see a Red Headed Woodpecker (unfortunately no picture). I’m getting interested in bird watching.

July 10,

I went to bed early last night with a sharp pain in my lower back, right side. I was thinking that our planned bike trip up Trail Ridge Road was in jeopardy, well it was, and not because of my back,luckily a majority of my pain eased so I figured I’d try. No sooner than I had my neon green bike jersey on Allen gave me the news that his car battery was completely dead. Allen ended up calling a tow truck. He came two hours later. Prior to this I had went out for an hour long mountain bike ride on the dirt road to the Lake Granby Dam that’s on the way to this campsite. On route I saw a falcon on his perch looking like the proprietor of the Lake Then, this afternoon I saw a iridescent humming bird pause rather close to me and watched as he flitted away. No sooner than I mentioned this to Allen the little bird came back and landed five feet way on bunch of purple thistle and drank some nectar.

Tomorrow, we are packing up the RV and heading to Rifle Gap State Campground.

I already checked…there is a Crossfit nearby.

July 8th

Comments off

July 8th

From our RV, we hiked up the dirt road to a trail head. We decide to circumnavigate the trail that leads around the lake in this mountainous area. Luckily we took it easy today, did our 5 mile hike early. More than half way we paused and let our legs dangle from a simple wooden bridge, sat silent for several minutes and absorbed this gentle scene. We arrived back at the RV at noon to more hour of sunny day and a cobalt blue sky. Suddenly the sky transformed, dark clouds,thunder, lightning and sustained hard and steady rain. I’ve put this time to good use catching up on this blog. We are in a National Park and don’t have access to some comforts of home like good quality internet service. Today I realized that I could catch up on this blog by using MS Word off-line and hopefully sometime tomorrow, I, well Allen can post.

One sad part of this trip is the amount of dead pines in this area especially. At first I wondered why there were two colors of pine trees in the mountains. I estimated 50% green and 50% blue. The difference I soon realized is that the blue pines are dead, killed by a beetle that bores into them and nests in the vital center of the tree. The dead trees have withered, completely barren of life. Their trunks turn red and scaly. Worse than that the red scaly trunks almost ubiquitous among the infected but still living seemingly strong and hardy but you look up at the branches and see stages impending death. My estimate is that 80% of these trees are doomed. In Colorado over 800 million trees are affected, the land area in total is the size of Rhode Island.

July 7th

Comments off

We went for a hike to Cascade Falls, a 4 mile gentle hike through meadow and forest to the prize. It’s magical to see and hear the power of the water falling and hitting and rolling over the rocks in an endless series of pathways, twists and turns, all different, so many little scenes, sparkles, bubbles, smooth, clear and dark flows, pools of eddies. All ones worries seem to have no place here. We left our camp by Allen’s car and on the dirt road near the dam we saw a Coyote, and his furry trophy trotting off into the woods, but before that he turned and looked at us. On the trail, the Cascade Trail we trailed a moose and her offspring. It was shocking to me that we were perhaps 50 yards away. When mother moose turned and looked me in the eye I got a little scared. On our return we saw a hawk above the meadow in his sky. I wonder what he was looking at.

July 6th

Comments off

July 6th, Our first full day at Arapahoe National Recreation area. We got the last available spot for an RV here and that is good What is a little disappointing is that it definitely wouldn’t have been my first pick of spots. We are in a very rural place about 9 miles off a the main road. We traversed a dirt road to get here and our corner, literally a corner between two busy roads of hikers and campers and boaters it gets a lot of use. I am perplexed as to how there is space for everyone. We are a short walk between scenic Lake Granby, a man-made lake, and the Continental Divide Trail. We don’t intend to stay around the RV too much anyway. We are going to drive Allen’s car over to Grand Lake. When I say over I mean it.
We headed 9 miles over the dirt road and passed the Lake Granby Dam passed through the town of Granby and into Rocky Mountain National Park where we proudly showed our National Park Pass and headed on in. For several miles we drove on a beautiful gentle incline passing meadows and surrounded by snow peaked mountains over 12,000’. I was wishing for my bike on this 65 degree clear day. Soon we entered the forest area. This is Trail Ridge Road. A road built from 1926 -1932 to give anyone an opportunity to appreciate the majestic scenery and be on top of a mountain. When we got close to being above tree line we saw snow on this mountain in some shady areas. From a scenic outlook and there were many, I saw through my 10 x 42 binoculars a herd of Elk maybe 30 walking across a field of snow, the leader sporting large antlers. As we neared the top, our road formed into a series of tight switchbacks. We many minutes later saw perhaps another group of Elk as they were nearing a ridge. When we drove around the corner there were a herd of ELK mature and adolescent. We pulled into a parking area and watched this spectacular from approximately 200 yards away. It was an amazing experience. Yes, there was a gift shop and somehow it wasn’t at the top. but near the top. We drove past that and on to the top we parked and walked a crooked trail perhaps a 1/3 of a mile to 12,600’, we hiked through an endless carpet of hardy tiny greenery , a menagerie of delicate wild flowers, colorful lichen covered rocks and boulders as monuments of the beginning of time. On the way down I was a little frightened being a passenger on this small road on the steep edge of this National natural masterpiece. … I still want to (at least try) ride my bike over the top, maybe Monday. We ate lunch in Grand Lake. We had barbecue at an unpretentious little place, delicious. The only way to get back was the way we came.

July 4th con’t

Comments off

I checked out the 4th of July celebration in the park, a two minute walk from our campground. It was nice to see so many people having a good time. I had a good time watching the tubers. Here is a picture of my dear friend Joyce. We along with a lot of her and Pat’s friends we watched the fireworks from their deck. I already miss Joyce and Pat. Pat best wishes on your Triple Bypass 130 mile bike ride!

Allen and I said goodbye to Golden today and Allen drove the windy mountain pass through Durango around 12,000 feet along Clear Creek. I rather would have had the experience on my bike than a passenger, but I don’t think bikes are allowed on the route. I was a little scared in the passenger seat on the high narrow road and ducked my head, shut my eyes and patted my chest a few times.

No Crossfit for a few days. We are in the middle of no-where in the Arapahoe National Forest for 5 days.

We are very lucky to have Wifi thanks to Allen’s know-how.


It’s July 4th. I’ve been so busy doing fun things that I haven’t kept up with this blog. Yesterday was one of those days that zoomed by. In the morning Joyce stopped by with her dog Jango and her bother’s dog Zack. We walked the Clear Creek Trail back to her house and visited for a while. In the late morning Allen and I went to REI in down town Denver. It’s enormous and it’s in what was the 1901 Trolley Station, We were able to buy a National Parks Pass and other things all with Allen’s dividends. Afterwards we enjoyed a pizza at Proto’s. We dined outdoors on the old street lined with mid 19th century buildings. It was enjoyable watching people walk, skateboard, bike and drive down the street. We came back and I went for a slow walk along the trail adjacent to Clear Creek. It was beautiful. I particularly liked watching people the many people tubing down the river. The expressions on their faces were priceless as they tried to navigate around the little falls to avoid tipping over into the cold water that is freshly melted snow. Occasionally a tubers eyes would meet my smile and I would receive a smile in return.

We went out for dinner again with Joyce and Pat. I asked if we could go to the same Mexican restaurant that we went to on Friday. The Ceviche, was delicious and I wanted to order it again and again we sat outdoors and were treated to some magnificent gusts of wind winding through the picturesque mountain setting.

This morning I got up and went to and was welcomed at Trailhead Crossfit. They had a special 4th of July team workout and it was great. I loved the camaraderie of being part of a team. Our team was 4 women. Half of the workout was outdoors. I couldn’t ask for anything better, working out in and surrounded by mountains. a gorgeous day. We ran to each outdoor location to complete the tasks. deadlifts, box jumps, kettlebell swings, etc… I wanted to do it all over again when we were done.

Allen is out on a bike ride right now. It’s 11:45am I wanted to go and Allen waited for me. He could only wait so long. I’m sure that he wanted to ride before it got too hot. Unusual but Crossfit went long I think because of the holiday and it was the only scheduled class.

I hear the band playing in the park about a two minute walk from the RV. I am going to stroll over and I might put my feet into the creek. Preview attachment FullSizeRender.jpg FullSizeRender.jpg 1.6 MB

Golden, CO

1 comment

Yesterday was our first full day in Golden, CO. The weather has been mostly beautiful. Yesterday the difference in the temperature from the shade to the sun seemed like 15 degrees. Yesterday Allen and Allen’s friend Cassie who lives nearby went for a hike to Lookout Mountain. We hiked 4 miles up and 4 miles down. I loved every step of the way up. I took a lot of pictures of the wild flowers, They grow everywhere. I am happy to look at them. I plan to do a drawing or two from the pictures I took. The views were beautiful as they are everywhere here.
We got back from out hike in the middle of the afternoon and I rode my bike 1 mile to my friends Joyce and Pat’s house. We visited on their porch for the remainder of the afternoon. A couple of their friends joined us and Pat and Joyce cooked an excellent dinner including desert.

Today I joined Pat and her bike group friends for a bike ride up into the mountains. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t make because of the altitude, but I figured that I would tough it out. We started in Idaho Springs followed the Clear Creek River up to Bakerville I stopped at 20 miles up and just under 10,000′ It was great being up in the mountains. I didn’t suffer at all. The down hill was really fun. The views were terrific everywhere you looked. We even passed a narrow gauge Clear Creek railroad built in the 1870 for transport to mining areas from Denver. Now it is used for tourist rides. Products/9780738529295
? IMG_7878[1].JPG ?? IMG_7877[1].JPG ?

6/28 & 6/29

Comments off

We got late start on 6/28. We spent $$$$ on our leveling jacks at Winnebago and left Forest City around 4pm. Allen drove to another Walmart somewhere in Nebraska. We arrived around 7:30pm. Yesterday we drove past more farms of corn and soybean, mostly corn. We went to an absolutely beautiful quiet lush campground in Grand Island, Nebraska. Upon entering I saw a Crane with her little crane children crossing the road. The trees and the greenery at the campground looked so artistic to me. I spent some time looking at birds with my binoculars. I spotted what I think is an American Goldfinch. I saw one today, while at a rest area in Nebraska on the trip to Colorado and was lucky to get a couple of pictures. We passed wetlands river and of course farms of corn, grasslands and some cows the topography changed though and we saw Sandhills and Prairie.

I wish that we could have stayed the day but we lost/spent a lot of time in Forest City, IA. Tomorrow we will be in Golden, CO. for 5 days Home of my longtime friends Joyce and Pat. Looking forward. By the way Allen has driven every mile on this trip. I’ve offered. I don’t mind.

6/26 Parts RV Parts

Comments off

Hi, This is Jodi

I had a great day. I drove to Crossfit, Chiron in Mason City again. I pulled up as everyone was running out the door for a 400 meter run. I hurriedly joined in with car keys dangling in one hand and my “drop in” fee in the other. It was a great workout, mostly core exercises. I practiced breathing throughout and the work and was so much easier than holding my breath

As soon as class let out I drove a mile to a Frank Lloyd Wright house. I didn’t realize until yesterday afternoon that in Mason City there is a hotel, bank and a house built in 1910 and 1908 respectively. I took the house tour and loved every second of it. I learned that once FLW’s scandalous affair became known he was not invited back to Mason City.

Allen stayed in the RV and worked on editing a video project.

I got back and we went to the Laundromat. On the way we learned that the parts have arrived and will be installed tomorrow. We expect to be staying in Sioux City, Iowa..Walmart Parking lot tomorrow. Oh, well, the price is right.

All in all I enjoyed the unplanned stay in this part of the country.

Hi Jodi here,

We are still at Forest City. Who knows how long we will be here waiting for the part for our RV to be manufactured. Yesterday morning I drove 30 miles to the nearest Crossfit. It’s a fast 30 minute drive down a series single lane roads, and it’s telling how little there is around here. The weather has been varied. We’ve had rain and downpours and sun and wind. The sky is so big here you can see big beautiful fields of clouds and see several rain storms of in the distances. The air here is delightful

Today we bicycled twenty miles to Clear Lake on lightly traveled roads.This is farm country. The skies this morning were bright blue. We had a tail wind to our advantage. One thing that Clear Lake is famous for is the Surf Ballroom. The Ballroom is remembered as the location of the last concert that Buddy Holly and Richie Valens gave shortly before their plane crashed a few miles from this site. The town had an old fashion feel to it from a brass band playing on the town green to diagonal parking on the main street. There were big beautiful houses along with boats completely surrounding the Lake.

We had lunch and started our return trip. The weather changed, clouds, rain drops and severe wind right in our faces and broadside. It was a real effort to get back to the RV and we missed the downpour by 30 minutes. We had a good dinner.

Boo. Hoo. There is really no reasonable destination to bike to tomorrow. I might finish my book, The Nature Fix. I’m learning the science behind how being outdoors in natural settings is so important to living a less stressful and healthy life. I also think that I might find a place along the river to draw, that’s as long as the wind is not to strong and the rain holds off.

Now this is more like it. Yesterday Allen and I went for a 3 mile run on a trail along the Winnebago River. Today we went on a 15 mile bike ride to and through a state park. We climbed to a CCC tower built in the late 1930s on the 2nd highest point in Iowa. Earlier today, well from 9am to 11:30am we went on a tour of the Winnebago Complex. We saw the big truck frames go in one end of the building and come out the other end as fully assembled coaches. We learned that all of the coaches are built to order and this plant completes about 40 per day.

At the end of the tour we got to go into a recently finished top of the line model. $459,000, buys a 42′ coach with lots of square footage as both sides expand. This one had marble floors, granite countertops, a high-end full-sized stainless steel refrigerator. You get the picture.

From our free campsite at the Winnebago Service Center I’ve identified two Doves and just a few minutes ago a woodpecker started pecking at my eye-level on a pine tree about 15′ away. He left before I could pick-up my camera.

Well, the good news is that Winnebago quickly identified the problem and the needed fix. We need the hydraulic jack cylinders replaced. More good news is that the jack manufacturer, HWH is only about half an hour from here.

The bad news is that HWH doesn’t keep these parts in stock. They manufacture them on demand. So it is going to take “at least a week” to get the parts.

Jodi and I discussed trying to find an RV repair place in the Denver area that could order the parts and do the install while we’re there, and we even called a couple of places, but no joy. So we went back to the service desk and told them that we’d like them to go ahead and order the parts. Looks like we’ll be staying in Forest City for a while!

We’ve moved from the city park up to the Winnebago service area, where we can park for free until our service is done.

Jodi here again:

We’ve arrived! Our RV, an Itasca Sun Star was born here in 2011. Itasca is a Winnebago brand. Allen was looking forward to seeing this place..I believe that Winnebago is the main employer in this rural community of 4400. On the flat concrete two lane highway that cuts through the corn fields we saw trucks each hauling several Ford truck beds with the Ford V10 motors, tires and steering wheels to the manufacturing plant next door to the service center. What we didn’t anticipate until the day before we left on this excursion was that we would actually require service. Our rear leveling jacks got stuck in the down position right in our storage facility. We made a last minute decision to upgrade our towing package, for safety purposes, so we had an appointment at a Massachusetts repair center anyway. Allen drove the RV about 7 miles with the piercing squeal of the jack alarm. The repair center mechanic tried silicone spray and new springs. The prognosis, bent jacks or hydraulic problems. The dealer pried them up into the up position. So here we are having driven over 1K miles and stayed in 4 Walmart parking lots on very level ground. Last night we stayed at Pammel camp ground on the Winnebago River. We were running down hill a bit. It’s windy pouring rain here today. I’ve got my running clothes on in the event that I get bored and tired of drinking free coffee.

I’ll step back a bit now. On 6/18 we pulled our 54.5′ of gas powered real estate off of the main road and stopped at this outdoor Root Beer stand, The White Turkey Drive-In in Conneaut, Ohio.. Since it was Sunday we parallel parked next door at a closed automobile repair shop blocking the entire front. We ordered Hot Dogs and Root Beer and Onion Rings and French Fries.. We allow ourselves this indulgence about one a year. The significance of this stop was that we fond memories of this place having been here while on our bike trip around Lake Erie several years ago.

We spent two hours at the RV museum in Indiana on 6/19. The museum exceeded my expectations. Inside they had some Model T’s going back to 1913. Several RV you could walk through. I got the biggest kick out of the models from the 1960s and 70s; some had shag carpeting and green appliances, 8 track players and furniture with the fabrics that are so familiar to me. It was interesting to see the many varieties of RV to the rolling palaces that are on the road today.

Chicopee, MA to Olean, NY


Hi, Jodi here,

We left in the RV yesterday around 5pm to start our six week long vacation to Colorado and maybe beyond. I worked until around 2pm and It was a tiring stressful scramble running the last few errands and prepping before finally going,

We, Allen drove to Walmart in Chicopee and we stayed for the evening. I never knew, never intending or ever thinking about travelling in an RV. This is our first real trip in our 35′ Itasca Sunstar with a Ford Edge in tow. I learned through Allen that many Walmart’s and they have for decades allow RV’s to park for free overnight.

We left Chicopee around 7:30am, Allen me with our 18 wheels that is 6 on the RV four on the Ford Edge and 8 among our 2 touring and 2 mountain bikes. Allen drove 380 miles today. Typically I’m posting how much we rode on our bicycles, our two wheeled RV’s, fully loaded Pannier’s with sleeping bags, clothes a tent and cooking gear. Many times I was longing for my bike when I gazed upon the adjacent to the expressway country roads

The scenery is still beautiful through the massive windshield from my high perch upon the over-sized, made for comfort, bucket seat. We drove between the Adirondack and the Catskill Mountains for several hours today. At lunchtime we pulled into a rest area along side the Susquehanna River and I noticed a bird on a spit of gravel in the middle of the river so.I hopped back into the RV and grabbed my, new for this trip, binoculars; It was a Great Blue Heron! A couple of minutes later a Baltimore Oriel flew through the same scene. I ate lunch and returned to see the Heron again and noticed that his spit of land was disappearing, my guess because the water level was rising due to an earlier rain. I raced for my binoculars again and returned in time to see the beautiful creature takeoff onto dry land on the far side of the river. I noticed how he blended into the scenery of march grass and low branches.

We are now at Olean, NY Walmart. Just grilled hamburgers for dinner. This really is a beautiful spot. We are nestled at the foot of the Allegheny Mountains. Here are photos of the RV. I love the wildflowers along the side of the road and our encampment at Walmart. 

The Itinerary


Sorry this didn’t show up with yesterday’s post. I had, as they say, “technical difficulties.”

default icon 20170504020757-45098-data.gpx

Summer Plans


This year Jodi and I have some plans in place to put the AdventureMobile to her intended purpose. Towards the end of June we will load up the motorhome, hook the car behind, and point her nose west bound for Colorado.

It will take a week or so to drive out there, including a stop in Forest City, IA along the way to see where the AdventureMobile was born and to tour the Winnebago factory.

We’ll spend most of the month of July in Colorado, moving about from here to there, visiting with friends, hiking, cycling, and generally living the good life.

The route home is completely tentative but we’re thinking we might head over to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon before turning for home along a southern route.

Stay tuned!


New Adventures

1 comment

We just added a new AdventureMobile to our lives. She’s a 2011 Itasca Sunstar 35F motorhome. After months of searching and a few false starts, we finally found her for sale by a couple in upstate New York.

At a rest area on the NYS Thruway:


Jodi behind the wheel: 

Parked overnight at a Walmart in Chicopee MA:

At Wompatuck State Park: 

The interior:

Kettle Point to Port Huron


We were up early to try t beat the wind. Since there was no place to get any breakfast anywhere near where we were staying, we boiled water for tea on our little camp stove and ate some fig squares we had bought at a local farm market yesterday.

We were out on the road at first light but the wind was already blowing. We just put our heads down and cranked into the wind. Eventually we passed the sign denoting the outskirts of Sarnia, and soon after that we came to a Tim Hortons where we stopped for coffee and food. While relaxing there Jodi pointed out that there was a bike trail paralleling the busy road we were on so when we left we switched over to that, which made our entry into downtown Sarnia much more pleasant.

We made our way to the last entrance ramp to the highway that passes over the Blue Water Bridge, and I called the number had for the Bridge Authority and told them we were two bicyclists needing to get across the bridge. After a few quick questions I was told that I had called the US Bridge Authority and since we were on the Canadian side I had to call the Canadian Authority. The guy I was talking to gave me their phone number which I then called. As in most such instances, the Canadian folks were much more polite and helpful than their US counterparts. After confirming that we were long distance cyclists — they don’t provide rides for folks who just want to cycle over the river for lunch or whatever, you have to be on a long distance journey — the gentleman I was talking to said he was going to call the US side and make sure they weren’t too busy for our arrival. If not then he would be there in a few minutes with the truck, and if so then he would call me right back.

A few minutes later he pulled up with his truck, helped me load the bikes in the back, and we were off across the bridge. He dropped us at the door of the US Customs building and we went in and presented our passports, and in a couple of minutes were on our way down the exit ramp from the bridge.

As a special welcome home, it started raining just as we got off the bridge, but we were only a mile or so from the Warmshowers host where we had left our car and we were there in a few minutes, completing our loop around Lake Huron.
Thank you so much for your hospitality, Bonnie! default icon 07_15_16.gpx

Goderich to Kettlepoint

1 comment

It’s Jodi, As we’ve been heading South on the South East side of the Lake I’ve noticed that the small towns and houses have been older some dating from the 1800s. I thiink some places look a bit British like.Most of this side of the Lake if farmland though. I might sound like a boor if I mention the headwinds again today and more upcoming tomorrow, so I won’t. We cycled 50 miles today mostly on main shoulder-less roads. We rolled into Kettlepoint around 2:30pm checked into a motel on the same main road, Route 21. A few minutes later I removed my panniers, saddled up again and rode 2.5 miles to the beach. The water is so nice and the sand soft. The sounds from the beach are nice the water and the kids playing.

Tomorrow we plan to conclude our riding. We are about 32 miles from Port Huron, Michigan. I find that most vacations are over so fast. It seems like we just started. One thing that I won’t miss is the wind! default icon 07_14_16.gpx

Kincardine to Goderich

1 comment

Today was another pretty, but hot and windy day. Again we kept it short, but again fighting the headwinds sucked uc of the fun out of the ride.

We did have some nice stops. First a snack break under a shade tree alongside a wheat field, then an ice cream stop at a rural store, followed soon after by a big breakfast we ate at lunch time at a local diner.

Soon after we arrived in Goderich and got a room at the Maple Leaf Motel, which is amazingly immaculate and comfortable. Jodi walked down to the beach fr a couple of hours this afternoon while I vegged out in the room, then we walked downtown for a nice dinner.

Our plan for tomorrow is to get up before the crack of dawn and try to get some miles in before the wind picks up, but the forecast is for wind and thunderstorms overnight so we’ll have to see what it’s doing outside when we get up.

default icon 07_13_16.gpx