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.

Saturday March 7, 2015 Casa Grande, AZ to Deming, NM

An absolutely perfect morning. Clear and sunny. Over night low was 50F in Casa Grande. The high in Deming was 64F, their low over night was 38F. It was windy out of the NW about 20 mph. as we got nearer to New Mexico, it got overcast.

Took Joy for an early walk on the dog path. The residents were out pulling weeds and trimming the bushes along the south wall of the park. We saw Bob trimming bushes, Joy was glad to see him. As we reentered the park at the large gate we saw Helen, again delighting Joy.

Went back to motor home and got it ready to leave. Packed up the satellite dish, dumped the holding tanks, disconnected the hoses and cables and put the tow bar on the Jeep.

Our neighbor to the north with the old bus conversion was out working on a solar oven, so I went over and talked to him about his bus. It was a 1967 Greyhound. He tows a 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Synchro. It is a four wheel drive van. He said it will go almost anywhere. He has a lot of solar, but doesn’t know exactly how much. Most of the panels he acquired used.

1967 Greyhound    1967 Greyhound Bus Conversion

We said good bye to Helen and took off at 11:00AM. We took Montgomery Road to I-8 and I-8 to I-10. We drove past Tucson, Benson and Wilcox. We stopped for a rest and a Dairy Queen at the top of  Texas Canyon at the Thing Store and Dairy Queen. Cathy had a Mudslide Sundae and I had a Peanut Buster Parfait.

The Thing     The Thing Store & Dairy Queen

We parked behind the store. There was a Minnesota motor home there with a man underneath the engine working on it. They were full timers who sold their house in Stillwater. He filled with diesel in Tucson at the Flying J and 20 miles later he started loosing power. He had spare filters with him and changed the filter. Said it was filled with slime. Though not running perfect yet, it was a lot better. He said they had an undeveloped lot near Hibbing.

bad Fuel Filter    Motor Home with Bad Fuel

We drove on and stopped at Lordsville at the Flying J and filled with gas. $2.19/gal. It is a very nice Flying J. Large and clean with an RV Island.

We got to Deming and the Escapees Dream Catcher RV Park at 5:00PM. We got a full hookup pull through site. They have a nice dog run here. Cathy took Joy to the dog run while I hooked things up. She didn’t do much in the dog run. We will take a ball with us in the morning.

We had 99 cent personal pizzas with extra cheese and topping made in the convection oven. I had a green salad and Walmart Oak Leaf White Zinfadel also. It was a good dinner.

We watched 20/20 and the In an Instant about the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in August 2007.


Friday March 6, 2015 Last Day at Rover’s Roost

Another nice day, but windy. Over night low was 51F and the high today was 78F. Wind was 20 to 25 mph. Clear and sunny all day. The wind went down about 3:00PM and then it was really nice.

Stayed in during the morning, except for walking Joy, because of the wind. Should have done some CE for my electrical license, but didn’t.

Cathy washed the bedding, so we have a clean bed tonight.

Cathy went to Happy Hour at 4:45PM. Bob and Helen were also there. Bob came over and we had a beer. Cathy and Joy went with Helen. The person in lot 103 had a new water pump for $30, so Cathy and Helen stopped to buy it, but he wasn’t there.

Helen made a real good cabbage dish for us. We had it for dinner tonight. I had three helpings.

Bob said he couldn’t find the defragmenter in Windows 7, so I took Helen’s dish back and started the defragmenter for Bob. Turns out his drive was only 3% fragmented, so didn’t need any thing.

There are several empty lots here now. I think people moved on to the Escapade in Tucson, which started today.

We watched the UND vs. Miami of Ohio hockey game. UND won 2 to 1, so that means they won the NCHC Conference and the Penrose Cup.

We watched Shark Tank, In an Instant and Blue Bloods.

Thursday March 5, 2015 Extended Stay Here at Rover’s Roost Two More Days

Another beautiful morning. Over night low was 46F and high today was 70F. No wind and clear and sunny.

Took Joy for a long morning walk. Checked email and etc.

Cathy went over and extended stay by two days. They took down the Boondocking Only sign today, so there must be lots available.

Worked on the fresh water dribble problem. Changed the hose washer to an O-ring type and that seemed to work. Tried the Camco 45 degree angle hose adapter but it dribbles at the joint.

Put Calgon and dawn in the holding tank. Will flush it again when we leave and put Calgon and Dawn in the tank.

We are planning on going to Deming, New Mexico on Saturday. Plan is to spend two nights there and go up to Silver City with the Jeep on Sunday.

Went to Walmart to stock up on chips, water, root beer and salsa. They were out of Sam’s Club 20 oz water, as usual. Did find a solid 45 degree hose adapter. Looks like it will eliminate the Camco adapter dribble problem.

Went to Sam’s Club and filled with gas for $2.19/gal. Took I-10 and I-8 back to Rover’s Roost. Cathy washed clothes while I was gone.

Last night when taking Joy out for her last walk of the day, we witnessed a high speed chase. They were coming down the road to the west and turned the corner and went right by us. i think they got him stopped at the corner of Montgomery Road and AZ84. Police cars were coming from both directions on AZ84.

Talked to Alan. He is enjoying Anza Borrego. he went on a 5 hour moon light hike to Inspiration Point Tuesday night. It was a guided hike. He is going on another  1i/2 hour walk tonight around the Visitor Center area.

Watched two Big Bank Theory episodes and Mom on TV. Saw on the news that Harrison Ford crashed his air plane and is in the hospital. It was my nephew Keagan’s birthday today.

Wednesday March 4, 2015 St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery

A beautiful morning. Over night low was 41F and the high was 64F. There was just a slight breeze.

Bob and Helen picked us up at 10:00AM to go to St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery south of Florence, AZ. It is about 40 miles away on Hwy 285 and 79. It was a perfect day to go there. When we got there, we were surprised to see so many cars in the parking lot.

Monastery Entrance    St Anthony’s Monastery Entrance

There is a strict dress code. Men and women must both wear long sleeves. Women must have head covering and a long skirt. They provide clothes for those that aren’t dressed appropriately. Cathy needed a scarf and skirt and Helen needed a skirt. They got outfitted while we waited for a priest to welcome us and tell us how to tour the monastery. We were told we could take pictures indoors and out, but not of visitors or monks and priests.

The first stop on the walking tour is St Anthony’s Church.

Main Chapel              St Anthony’s Church

It is quite large and has a number of chairs around the perimeter. During services they stand, but if tired can sit. The chair seats fold to accommodate standing or sitting. The inside is very ornate and all the furnishings come from Greece.

St Anthony's Chairs            Chairs at St Anthony’s

There are several chapels on the grounds besides the main church.

St Seraphim's Chapel St Seraphim’s Chapel

This is a outdoor, peasant, Russian style chapel dedicated to the most revered Russian saint ever.

The desert around the monastery is very beautiful with many Saguaros and Chollas. These were kept and palm trees and other plants were mixed in with them to create the grounds. There are citrus and olive tree orchards.

Saguaro at St Anthony's           Saguaro

The gate house has a book store with books in English and Greek and many beautiful religious objects, cards and pictures. They also sell preserves, olives, olive oil, vinegar, pastries and breads.

Here is a nice YouTube video

On the way back we found a cut off through Coolridge that saved about 12 miles. When we got back we stopped at the Golden Corral and had lunch.

Got back and sat outside with Joy for quite awhile. She enjoys having people make a fuss over her.

I saw on Facebook that Kathryn’s flight to the Virgin Islands was canceled and rebooked for tomorrow. It is a 3 hr trip for her to the airport.

Watched the usual Wednesday night TV and the new CSI Cyber.