Thursday 12-31-15 Starting to Get Ready

Took a look at the motor home in preparation of moving around to the front driveway to clean and load up.

Motor Homes

Decided to shovel a path around the house to the motor home.

Path to Motor Home

You can see the topper for the Jeep behind the motor home.

Bought three new Energizer Group 29 12 volt batteries at Sam’s Club. I was going to move the chassis battery and put four GC-2 6 volt batteries in but, didn’t get around to it.

Battery

Will have to change the oil and house batteries before we leave.

My friend Tim bought a 1999 Winnebago Chieftan today. he stopped by with it on is way back to Grand Forks. It is on a Ford F-53 chassis and 34′ long. Very nice interior.

My neighbor Larry helped me install some overhead storage in the garage. Every little bit helps. I almost have enough room to get the Hyundai in. Won’t be able to get the Jeep Wrangler in.

Overhead Storage

 

 

 

Trip Itinerary Starting January 3 to January 8, 2015

2015 Southwest Trip Itinerary

January 3
Leave Buxton
Noon Temp 20F Wind 7mph NW
Stop Bismarck 253 miles
6:00PM Temp 16F Overnight Low 9F

January 4
Leave Bismarck
9:00AM Temp 14F Wind 6mph SSW
Stop Gillette 394 miles
6:00PM Temp 17F Overnight Low 13F

January 5
Leave Gillette
9:00 AM Temp 19F Wind 7mph WSW
Stop Evanston 458 miles
6:00PM 18F Overnight Low 8F

January 6
Leave Evanston
9:00AM Temp 9F Wind 6mph SE
Stop Mesquite 396 miles
6:00PM Temp 45F Overnight Low 34F

January 7
Leave Mesquite
9:00AM Temp 43F Wind 4mph ESE 50% Rain
Stop Apple Valley 267 miles
6:00PM Temp 43F Overnight Low 29F

January 8
Leave Apple Valley
9:00AM Temp 43F Wind 1mph SW
Stop Mission Viejo 92 miles
12:00 Noon 51F Overnight Low 29F

We Are Getting Ready to Leave

We plan on leaving Sunday January 3, 2016. We plan on leaving about noon and driving to Bismarck where we will spend the night. Monday morning we will drive on to Gillette, Wyoming.

I will post as we get ready to leave. We took down the Christmas decorations today. I am working trying to make room for the Hyundai in the garage.

Will probably start the heat in the Adventurer today. Friday or Saturday we will bring it around to the drive way in the front of the house to load. I have to change the oil, so will do that as soon as it is moved.

Temperature now, Tuesday December 29, 2015 4:30PM is 14F. Supposed to get into the 20’s starting tomorrow. The weather is looking good for traveling through Wyoming, Utah and Nevada next week.

Joy will be happy to get to warmer climates.

Saturday March 14, 2015 Home at Buxton

Perfect clear sunny morning. Over night low was 45F. Wind out of the south. High in Buxton in the afternoon was 64F.

We went in for the breakfast buffet at the casino. It was $8.95ea. It was a good buffet, but they didn’t have bacon. They did have sausage patties and links. They made custom omelets. Cathy had an omelet. I had biscuits and gravy, sausage patties and links, eggs and hash browns.

Took off after breakfast for Fargo. We got to Fargo at 12:00PM. Stopped at Mill’s Fleet Farm and filled with gas for $2.20/gal. Went to Menard’s to get current flyer. Stopped at Stamart to fill with propane, but they didn’t have anyone certified to fill.

Got to Buxton at 3:00PM. Larry helped us move the Brave over to his driveway. It was too muddy to park the Adventurer next to the Brave. Got the Adventurer in place and moved the 125 gallon propane tank closer so that it connected to Adventurer. With the Adventurer in the north side spot, the 50 amp electrical cable wouldn’t reach. Had to use a 30 amp extension cable to get it powered up. Hooked up satellite cable and leveled the motor home.

Adventurer at Home        The Adventurer at Home

Went in to see how the house looked. iIt looks real nice with flooring and paint.

Took Joy over to Larry’s to play. Larry gave them each a chew bone. They just concentrated on the bones and didn’t do much playing. We had taken them in our house and they had a good time running around in there.

Cathy made pizza for dinner.

Friday March 13, 2015 Salina, KS to Dakota Sioux Casino

A nice, but cool morning in Salina. Low over night was 34F. It was a clear sunny day as we started out. As the day progressed it became partly sunny and windy. At the end of the day it cleared up. It was about 70F for most of the day. Winds were around 30 mph out of the north. Ruined our mileage, only got 5.6 mpg.

We stopped for gas about 70 miles from Salina at Concordia, KS. We stopped at a Conoco and payed $2.28/gal. We took US-81 and I-135. We got to the South Dakota Visitor Center at 3:30PM. It was 70F there. They have a very nice section of the Visitor Center for selling South Dakota products. On the hill they have a sign about US-81 being part of the Pan American highway stretching from Winnepeg to the tip of South America, 17,000 miles long.

Went up US-81 from Yankton to US-18 and then across to I-29. Filled up at Flying J in Sioux Falls for $2.25/gal. Drove another 104 miles to Dakota Sioux Casino for a total of 480 miles and 11 hours for the day.

I set up the motor home while Cathy went in to register. Turns out you don’t have to register any more.

Site at Dakota Sioux Casino    Our Site at Dakota Sioux Casino

By the time I got in there, it was too late for the buffet which ends at 9:00PM. We ate in the Deli. Cathy had a chicken sandwich for $5.00 and I had chili for $1.50. Mine was a good deal, Cathy’s not so much. There was nothing on the sandwich. The person at the counter said next time to order it as Deluxe and you will get every thing on it.

Went back and walked Joy. No real TV reception here. This should be our last night on the road.

Thursday March 12, 2015 442 miles Sunset, TX to Salina, KS

It was nice this morning. Over night low was 46F. I got things cleaned up and emptied the tanks and pulled in the power cord by 9:30AM. Walked Joy and we left at 9:45AM. The high for the day in Salina was 76F.

Stopped in Wichita Falls, TX for gas. I had planned on stopping at Flying J, but they didn’t have a sign and it wasn’t clear which exit to take. Took the exit after Flying J, intending to drive back, but a Stripe station at the exit had gas 3 cents cheaper than Flying J. Filled up. Checked the rear passenger tire on the Jeep. It was down to 20#. There was a place to fill with air at the Stripe station, but no way to maneuver the Jeep to it without unhooking. Drove on and stopped at the Oklahoma Visitor Center. There was an air dispenser there, so filled up.

It was nice and clear all day, very sunny, but a lot of wind out of the east. Stopped at the Kansas Visitor Center and got a McDonalds hamburger and fries. Decided to stop in Salina, KS for the night. Got to the Walmart in Salina at 8:00PM. A 442 mile, 10 hour day.

Joy slept all day and hasn’t really moved since we parked here in Salina. I think she is still worn out from the last two days at Carrol and Roxanne’s.

I went in to Walmart, got a 28 pack of 20 oz drinking water, some RV toilet paper, cookies and glazed donuts for the morning. also got some Dove bars for desert tonight.

Wednesday March 11, 2015 Lazy Day at Carrol and Roxanne’s

It was foggy this morning. Over night low was 44F. It got up to 72F this afternoon. At first it was partly cloudy and then clear with no wind. Pretty much a perfect day.

Walked Joy around the RV park. There are 82 sites, mostly all pull through and all are full hookups. There are two shower/laundry rooms. One in the middle of the park that is closed and one at the office building.

About 11:30AM Carrol and Roxanne came to pick us up. They had their two year old granddaughter Charlotte with them. Charlotte and Joy immediately took to each other. When we got to the house they really had a good time and they played hard.

Charlotte and Joy            Charlotte and Joy

We all sat on the porch and watched Joy and Charlotte, some Cardinals, Blue Herons and other birds. I was finishing off the Chianti from yesterday.

View fro Porch              View from Porch

It was very relaxing. The only thing keeping it from being really perfect was the faint skunk odor.

Sitting on the Porch                 Sitting on the Porch

Carrol steamed a pound of shrimp and we ate that with cocktail sauce. It really hit the spot.

At about 4:00PM, Tracy, Charlotte’s mother came with her brother Ben. Ben, Charlotte and Joy had a good time.

Roxanne made a sausage noodle hot dish, with mixed vegetables and mixed fruit for dinner. After dinner Carrol made both regular and decaf coffee.

Tracy and the kids left for Fort Worth. We sat and watched Fox News. At about 9:30PM Carrol and Roxanne brought us home. I don’t think Joy wanted to leave their house where she could run free and have such a good time.

We will be starting for home in the morning and should get their Saturday.

Watched House on TV.

 

Tuesday March 10, 2015 Sunset Texas

Still over cast and cool this morning. The over night low was 46F. It was overcast all day and the sun started to peak through late in the afternoon. High in Sunset was 57F.

We got going about 11:00AM. Took FM51 from Weatherford to Decatur. A distance of 47 miles. We then headed to Alvord to find an RV park. We stopped at the A-1 RV park just south of Alvord.  It was very wet, nobody was in the office and it was $35/night. They also had a lot of rules pasted on the windows. We decided to try the RV park in Sunset. It was mostly dry with pull through sites and they take Passport America. The cost was $12.50/night. Washing, drying and showers are free. It is full hookups with both 30 and 50 amp electric.

Shortly after we got set up Cathy’s cousin Carrol and wife Roxanne picked us up and took us to their home on 90 acres a few miles from Sunset.

Carrol and Roxanne's House       Carrol and Roxanne’s House

When we drove through their gate we saw a large skunk with a very wide white stripe. After we got to the house, Carrol went back and shot the skunk.

Joy had a great time running through the large house and running free outside.

I enjoyed drinking wine, a Merlot, and watching Fox News cover the Hillary email affair. Cathy talked to Carrol and Roxanne about family. Carrol took Joy outside a couple of times.

Roxanne spotted another skunk out side and Carrol went out an shot it, that one we could smell. The vultures were on it immediately.

I took Joy for a walk up the drive. She found an Armadillo that Carrol had shot and the buzzards had picked clean so only the shell remained.

Roxanne made enchiladas for dinner. They were really good. She also had made some cookies for after dinner. Carrol made decaf and brought out a bottle of Chianti for me.

They brought us back to the motor home about 9:00PM. Joy ate all her food in a hurry. Cathy and I caught up on email.

Monday March 9, 2015 Crummy Day

The day started out grey and gloomy and got worse. Over night low in Pecos was 43F. It rained a little over night. It was pretty windy most of the day. We picked up rain at Odessa and Midland and had it all the way to Weatherford. We stopped in Abilene at 4:15PM, the high there today was 52F.

I took Joy for a walk through the park, I could see the remnants of the former SKP Park, but they haven’t been kept up and the oil workers have made a mess of it. There is a park with a zoo next to the SKP Park. Pecos has the strange on ramps where a street just merges with the Interstate. We drove about 2 miles before we were on I-20 headed east. Pecos all the way to Midland looks terrible. The oil companies don’t seem to do any thing to keep the local communities up. Starting at Odessa you can see fancy office buildings and in Midland high rise office buildings.

Kevin harvick won the Sprint Cup Race in Las Vegas, so Outback gives free blooming onions on Monday. We had an Outback gift card so decided to use it. Lowes is right next to Outback in Abilene, so we parked in the Lowes lot.

Parked at Lowes Abilene, TX        Parked at Lowes for Outback

We each got sirloin and shrimp combination plates. As usual we filled up on the blooming onion. So after finishing the shrimp, there was a lot of steak left over for stir fry.

It rained all the time we were in Outback and continued as we drove on I-20 to Weatherford, TX. Saw two accidents and a flipped truck with van box on the other side of the highway.

We got to the Weatherford Walmart at 8:30PM. Cathy called to make sure parking over night was allowed. They said to just park out by the road. We are the only RV here.

Parked at Walmart Weatherford, TX   Parked at Weatherford Walmart

There is a Dollar Tree next to where we parked so I went in and bought some tooth paste, candy and throw away Old Fashioned glasses. Also bought an LED shamrock necklace for St Patrick’s day. Cathy said I need a hat also.

Went into Walmart to get a new battery for the XM Radio remote. Also got “The Interview” DVD and some Persian Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast.

Watched DVD for entertainment tonight.

Sunday March 8, 2015 On to Pecos, TX

A very nice morning in Deming. The over night low was 39F. It was sunny and partly cloudy. The high in Pecos, where we ended up was 70F. It was overcast and there was lightning in Pecos.

We stopped at the dog run and played ball with Joy before we left. We got on the road at 10:45AM. We headed out on I-10 to Las Cruces and El Paso. When we got to Texas we stopped at the Welcome Center and picked up a map.

The GPS routed us around El Paso via the Trans Mountain Loop 375. The mountain part is 14 miles long and a 8% grade up one side and 8% grade down the other side. The GPS routed us through the Guadalupe Mountains via US-62/US-180. We went through Guadalupe National Park. It is very scenic and would be worth coming back to. After the park we took FM652 to US-285. These roads are heavily traveled by oil trucks and not in very good shape. The only town we went through was Orla. it was a disaster, lots of run down buildings and portable diners.

We got in to Pecos and it was just as bad as Orla, only much larger. We drove by the Walmart, very small parking lot and it had 4 RVs in it. Stopped at the Flying J and filled with gas for $2.25/gal. They didn’t have any designated RV parking. Went on to Escapees Trapark. Last time we were here there were 7 RVs. Now there are 175 and it is always full. We are boondocking in a space by a gravel pile.

Site at Trapark          Site at Escapees Trapark

We are glad to have it. They said we could run the generator until 9:00PM. Absolutely no TV, although supposedly we could get CBS channel 7 and NBC channel 9. Got out a DVD. We are watching last of the Red Hot Lovers with Alan Arkin.

Cathy made grilled cheese sandwiches and salads for dinner. I am having the oak Leaf White Zinfandel with it.