March 2005 Archives

Awake 5:47am Temp inside 66 Heavy rain outside Overnight in Service bay

Young Bub, older Dee, & senior Claude are assigned to our coach to find &
seal the water leaks we've been having. Bub is completely removing &
cleaning the outside edge atop slide #3, then resealing that edge. Dee is
removing each marker light lens on the passenger side of our coach,
checking for leaks, then resealing them. Claude is up on the roof sealing
anything that might possibly be causing leakage.

While they are working on that project, Kathy & I take our umbrellas &
attend 9:00am mass @ Sacred Heart church.

Shortly after our return, Jim & Betty come by to say goodbye for now.
Their 2005 Newell(preowned)won't be ready for them to drive back to Idaho
in time for their daughter's surgery on the 29th, so they will be driving
their Monaco motorhome back.

Kathy takes the Suzuki & does some grocery shopping @ the local Marvin's &
Wal-Mart. Shortly after she leaves, our coach is backed out of bay #5
using engine power & a good transmission...then pulled into the water leak
test & washing stall bay. The boys really drown our coach with slides
retracted, check inside for leaks, then extend the slides & drown it
again, then check again for leaks. They have an overhead water system that
really soaks the entire bay.
45 min later, 95% of our 4 leaking areas are dry. This is good. We realize
of course, some of these leaks or new ones will show up again. All the
twisting, bouncing & shaking we do on rough highways does take its toll.

The guys give our coach a good wash job, then Bub parks it outside in the
Newell campground, plugs in 50amps, extends 4 slides & gives us a thumbs

Just as we begin walking toward our coach, Tommy comes by & tells us about
another recall that came through this afternoon. The drivers seat base
plate has been known to develop cracks over time. Our coach has one of
these numbered plates. He wants to know if we want to hang around tomorrow
& have the new stronger plate installed or stay on the list & catch it
another time. Hmmm, "might as well hang out for another day" I tell him.

7:25 Dinner: Pork chops marinated in milk & garlic, brown & wild rice
pilaf, asparagus de l'orange, mixed romaine salad, & raisin pecan bread.

Late evening: Watch movie on cable:"Conspiracy Theory" with Mel Gibson &
Julia Roberts. Another movie that surely will keep you awake.

High temp today=52 Lights out: 12:06pm

Awake 6:09am Temp 53 Low Dark clouds Overnight @ Newell Campground

@ 6:45am, assistant service manager Tommy, rings our doorbell & tells us
that Mike is on his way from Tulsa with our repaired be
ready to move into the service bay. No more than 5 min later, about 12
workers are seen heading for our coach. I move our Suzuki auto out of the
way & then our coach is man powered into bay#3. Their timing was good.
About 30 min later, that black cloud let loose with a bunch of heavy rain
& the rain continued, heavy at times, throughout the day.

Mike arrives about 10:30am with a helper. The BIG jacks are rolled into
place & again the coach is raised about 3 ft from the floor. The
reinstallation of the transmission goes a lot faster with his helper's
help. They were adding new hydraulic fluid around 2:00pm. Mike asks me to
assist in doing the transmission tests. I select drive & hold my foot on
the brake for nearly 20 min until the temp rises to 142 degrees in the
transmission. This is the same test that showed a failure last Wednesday.
Now all of Mike's readings on his computer, which is attached to our info
plug on our dash, reads as it should, normal. I am told by Mike that
Allison will cover all the costs for this repair except the air freight
overnight shipping of parts, about $50.00. I can handle that.

After that happy episode, I call Roadmaster, the Portland, Oregon
manufacturer of our tow hitch. We talk about the model hitch that Jim has,
the missing parts, are they available & how much will they cost. Then I
locate Jim, show him the cost for the parts, air freight charges & we
arrive @ a fair & decent price. We have a deal & later, I pay him off with

About 6:15pm Jim & Betty drop by our coach in bay#3. We invite them in for
a glass of wine. 1.5 hrs later, we had covered much about our earlier
lives, work careers, family trials & tribulations, etc. It was some good
bonding with these nice people from Idaho. It turns out that both Jim &
Betty were born & raised on a chicken farm. They are talking about leaving
tomorrow & going back to Idaho to be there for Easter and for their
daughter's surgery on April 29th.

8:15pm Dinner: Chicken in sherry with tomatoes, olives & garlic over penne
paste + spinach salad & garlic bread.

Late evening: Watch cable movie: "Death Becomes Her" with Meryl Streep.
Good flick. Guaranteed to keep you awake & laugh. It worked for Kathy.

High temp= I don't know, we were inside all day. Lights out: 11:20pm

Awake 6:10am Temp 41 Cloudy Overnight @ Newell campground

Kathy makes her delicious sourdough pancake breakfast this morning.

I notice some workers over @ the production plant this morning, so I ask
Kathy if she would like to do a tour of the latest line of motorhomes
coming down the line without the hustle & bustle. She agrees & we spend
over an hr being amazed & impressed seeing all the greatest & latest
changes that make our RV world more comfortable to live in.

On our way back to our coach we meet up with Carol & Harold, long time
RV-ers who live in Southwest Iowa. They arrived yesterday for service &
some repair work. Now they are on their way to Braums(5 min drive)for a
banana split & can't resist telling us how delicious their hamburgers are.
About 30 min later, the more we think about it, we agree that we too,
should check out Braums & see if those hamburgers are as good as they say
they are. An hr later, we concur, they weren't bad but not quite as good
as what Kathy would make.

Kathy walks for an hr for exercise while I fool around with the
entertainment system. It turned out to be a beautiful day today; sunny,
warm, and not too windy! When she returns, she gets after those photo
albums while I update myself on our tow bar hitch & read about the hitch
that Jim might sell me.

Tonight we skip a real dinner due to those hamburgers we had for a late
lunch...but we enjoy some popcorn & cheese while watching a movie on
cable: "Support Your Local Gunfighter" with Suzanne Pleshette & James
Garner. It was somewhat entertaining.

Today's high temp=72 Lights out: 11:49pm

Awake 7:15am Temp 37 Clear Overnight @ Newell campground

Casual morning in the campground. Not much's too cold
outside for us Alaskans.

Shortly after 12 noon, we drive downtown Miami(10 min) to tour their
famous 1929 Coleman Theatre...only to find out, their hrs are 10:00am to
noon on Sat. Oh well, we'll try another time. Then we do a driving tour of
the west side of Miami. Some big stately homes in this area. Goodrich had
a huge plant here operating from 1946 until it closed in 1986. It was the
biggest employer in the city. We rode around the west side for 20 min. My
sister Mary Jo called just before noon on our poor reception cell phone.
So now that we're back in the Newell campground, I take our test phone
into the bldg & return her call using our calling card. She reports all is
going well & we update each other on our family activities. Kathy goes for
her walk.

Later, in talking with Jim, to whom I had mentioned just yesterday that we
were searching in Joplin for an upgraded tow bar, he tells me that he has
a upgraded model in his basement from the previous owner that he might not
need. We both look @ his extra hitch, which is in great shape & now I have
to so some homework & find out what the new ones are selling for & does
his extra one have all the necessary parts. I'll schedule that for Monday.

We attend 5:00pm mass @ the Sacred Heart church.

7:45 Dinner: Italian sausage from Johnstown, PA., & freshly made spaghetti
sauce with meat & mushrooms + fresh salad. One of my favorite meals.

Late evening: Watch cable movie:"Adams Rib" with Spencer Tracy & Katharine
Hepburn. A great flick.

High temp today=58 Lights out: 11:42pm

Awake 6:23am Temp 48 Partly sunny Overnight @ Newell campground

Attend 9:00am mass @ Sacred Heart church.

Kathy does 6 laundry loads today + we take good hot showers.

In my spare time, I do a self tour of the production line factory with
only a handful of workers on the job. The production line & service
factory workers are on a 10 hr day, 4 day week schedule. This is the
ideal time for me to really get up close & personal with the systems &
wiring before so many things get covered up.

Kathy goes for an hour walk in the surrounding neighborhood, trying to get
some much needed exercise.

One motorhome I hadn't seen in production before has a steam shower in the
back and trimmed out with marble. Fairly good size shower at that.

I talk with Sam about driving to Joplin, MO today in our Suzuki. We are
looking for a upgraded tow hitch for our car. Sam knows of 2 RV dealers in
Joplin. We spend 3 hrs total driving to the 2 dealers, inquiring about
hitches, then returning with nothing new. Jim & Betty walk over to our
site when we drive into the campground & we chat for 30 min.

Attend a fish fry dinner @ 6:15 @ the Sacred Heart community center,
sponsored by the youth of the parish to raise monies for the 2005 world
youth day. The food was not too shabby.

Mid evening: Some magazine reading...then we find a movie we feel might be
worth watching: "Three Mikes" with Jane Wyman. This film uses the actual
American Airline aircraft with their pilots & stewardises wearing the
official uniforms. It was actually to promoting flying & it worked. A
movie that makes you feel good.

High temp today=68 Lights out: 11:11pm

Awake 5:12am Temp inside 65 Clear & windy outside Overnight in
service bay. All slides retracted.

Soon after the workers arrive @ 6:30am, the 6 BIG hydraulic jacks are
removed & we extend our slides once again.
David from the cabinet department knocks on our door around 6:45am. He is
ready to take measurements back in my closet. About this same time, Bill &
Lolli who have a 1995 Newell & Bob & Lynn who just purchased a new 2006
Newell....are leaving this morning, so we leave David to take his
measurements & say our goodbyes to these two couples who we hope to see
again soon.

We skip out to attend 9:00am mass @ the Sacred Heart church.
When we return, my bookshelves are finished & they look really good +

Later, when talking with Tommy, I compliment him on such fast action & the
good work David did with my book shelves. After that, I bring up the
subject of a loose computer control box in our rear basement joey bed. I
have crawled into this area several times but have not been able to
locate the hold down device to make it tight. To my amazement, Tommy got
right into it with a flashlight, crawls out & returns with some tools & in
10 min, has it fixed.

@ 1:45pm, Tommy visits us again to let us know they will be pushing our
coach outside for the weekend & we should be ready by 2:30. I figure I
have time to walk over to the parts department & order some indicator
bulbs for Dick & Christine. Dick called during the middle of February
before we left Phoenix & asked if I had any spare bulbs. So while I am
here @ Newell, I'll pick a few up & send him some.

I no sooner get the order in for the bulbs when Creslie comes by & tells
me that Kathy is trying to find me. They are pushing our coach out to the
campground. With no transmission, it has to be either towed or pushed.
"There must of been 15 guys huffing & puffing to get that machine rolling
outside" Kathy tells me later. "But as soon as a small rise in the
concrete came along, all movement stopped." That's when I showed up. So
now they get a forklift with chains & tow it close to the parking site,
then the guys, with Kathy's help, all push it back into the week-end spot.

After parking, Kathy makes another grocery trip to the nearby Wal-Mart
while I organize some more tax papers & the indicator bulbs for mailing to
their respective destinations. Then when Kathy returns, I drive over to
the North Miami post office(4 min) & send my 2 items off.

7:00pm Dinner: Portobellos stuffed with crab meat & artichoke, rice pilaf,
sauteed cauliflower & green peppers in a balsamic & boursin cheese.

And then tonight, I can't believe we did this: We watched a triple feature
of movies: "Miss Congeniality" with Sandra Bullock. "Charley Varrick" with
Walter Matthau. "The Three Godfathers" with John Wayne. WOW! Our brains
are dead.

High temp outside today=65 Lights out: 12:42am

Awake 5:20am Temp inside the service bldg 66 Overnight in service bay

We attend 9:00am mass @ Sacred Heart church.

A lot of activity going on in the service bldg today--like most days I'm
sure. 25 tech workers keep busy on more than a dozen coaches each day they
work. Most coaches are here for the routine maintenance + repairing a few
glitches like we are....or others, to make minor/major changes to the
interior of their coach. We've seen a lot of NASCAR coaches come & go
between races. I've been told that at least one half of the NASCAR
motorhomes are Newells.

I find Tommy & ask him if the shoe rack in my closet could possibly be
converted to book shelves. After taking a good look at it: He says, "No
problem! I'll get a man on it tomorrow.

Tommy visits us late morning with a FedEx's our Alaska mail
sent by Melissa & Kevin. Thanks guys.

Early afternoon, the BIG German hydraulic jacks(6) are rolled over to our
bay. Each jack is capable of lifting 15,000 lbs in unison. We are asked to
retract our 4 slides so the jacks can be positioned around each external
tire for lifting our coach.

Mike, the Allison transmission expert from Tulsa calls to let us know he
is running late. Before the service techs leave for the day, they jack our
coach off the floor approximately 2 ft.

@ 6:15pm, I find Kathy & ask her if she is getting hungry. Then find a
ladder so she can easily enter our airborne bus to start cooking.

7:30 Dinner: Alaska salmon, veggies & fresh mixed salad. While we are
eating our dinner, Mike arrives. He apologizes for being so late. He's had
a busy day.
Mike runs one test with a monitor connected to the transmission with the
engine running & quickly confirms that the unit will need to be removed,
taken to Tulsa & opened up to find out "what happened?" Mike has worked
for Allison since 1979 & reports that to his knowledge, only 4 failures of
this 6 speed transmission have occurred. He spends over 3 hrs removing &
loading the unit onto his truck using his truck crane. He will call us
tomorrow & let us know what he finds out.

Late evening: We watch the 3rd annual "Classic TV & TV Land Awards" on
cable. It was very interesting seeing so many senior actors still alive &
getting awards for their efforts of yesteryear.

High temp outside today=63 Lights out: 11:10pm

Awake 5:13am Temp inside service bldg 66 Rain outside
Overnight inside the Service bay @ Newell

This morning, the guys are changing filters throughout our motorhome:
Engine oil, transmission, air drying system, hydraulic systems, water
system, auxiliary generator, air conditioners, fuel, small diesel backup
heating system, etc.

We slip out & attend 9:00am mass @ Sacred Heart church. When we return,
Kathy calls Melissa in Anchorage from the customer service lounge...all
appears to be OK for the kids in the land of cool.

Mid afternoon, Larry & Gary begin running tests on just about everything
they've changed filters on. When they get to the engine & transmission,
they jack up the drive wheels, select the transmission in drive with one
foot on the brake & the other on the throttle to get a constant RPM until
the transmission begins to read a certain temperature. Into this procedure
about 2 min, the engine stopped suddenly. I was sitting @ our computer
desk casually observing all of this so I was an in house witness. The guys
were baffled! It shouldn't have done this. Next comes an electronic test
monitor that plugs into a receptacle on the dash to take a more serious
look @ the parameter readings. Another tech Ron, confirms that something
is definitely wrong. Larry & Gary go underneath the coach for further
tests &, again, they come up with....there is a problem. About 4:00pm, we
are told that the Allison expert in Tulsa(80 miles Southwest) will visit
tomorrow early afternoon to make further tests.

6:15pm Dinner: Filet steaks with baked potato & fresh mixed salad.

After dinner, Kathy surfs the cable TV network & watches the marquee
selections for a worthwhile movie to watch tonight....the options are
poor. So we start watching a program on the History channel: "Break Las
Vegas." I found this to be very interesting but my partner obviously did
not as I kept hearing what appeared to be a muffled diesel engine running
over on our couch.

After that hr of high tech card counting wizardry stuff, we begin watching
the movie: "Crazy/Beautiful." After 30 min of this, that muffled diesel
engine started running again + I was beginning to lose patience for when
the crazy would cease & the beautiful would begin in this movie. We'd had

High temp today outside=48 Lights out: 10:46pm

Awake 5:02am Temp 33 Partly sunny Overnight @ Newell factory, OK

(3)years ago today, we arrived here @ the Newell Motorcoach facility via
plane & bus to get checked out & pick up our 2001
experience like no other. Now, after selling our home in Alaska, we are
full time gypsies roaming the lower 48 states & loving this lifestyle.

We are here to get some items taken care of that were not completely fixed
during the warranty period. Newell's policy is to work on the item until
it is repaired right. Plus, it's time for our 2-3 yr service & preventive
maintenance check.

@ 6:32am, our doorbell rings & Kyle is ready to drive our coach into the
service center. Kathy rides along with Kyle to bay #17. They have 22 bays
for doing service work on the coaches & that includes the 4 enclosed
painting bays.

The tech guys get right with it. The biggest item: A recall on 6 of our
Millennium aluminum rims out of 8 by the manufacturer, Hutchinson Wheel
Corp. The inside duals are Alcoa wheels, not Millennium & need not be
changed. So this 54,000 lb machine is jacked up, tires with rims removed &
taken to a local vendor where the tires will be remounted onto new rims.
Earlier this yr, Newell had seen 4 occasions of hairline cracks developing
in the Hutchinson Millennium wheels, so to avoid any catastrophic
failures, the manufacturer is exchanging the 6 Millenium wheels with new
Alcoa wheels on each of 120 of the Newell motorhomes effected...ours

Kathy & I do the usual self tour of the Newell manufacturing plant. Every
time we are here, we see the marvelous improvements on the assembly line
& our mouths drool. I've been told, that the average Newell owner will
have at least 4 different Newell motorhomes during his/her lifetime. I can
easily understand that.

Later we talk with Sam(head man in sales who sold us our coach) about how
to go about cashing an Insurance check from State Farm in Alaska for more
cash. He makes a phone call to his friend Mike @ a local bank & gives us
directions on how to find Mike. After our lunch, we find Mike @ a downtown
Miami bank who fixes us up with 26 50 dollar bills & some change.

6:45 Dinner: Italian chicken stir fry(asparagus, broccoli & red peppers)
with brown rice & fresh spinach salad.

Mid evening: Rigged 2 phones together so we could call Alaska & both talk
at the same time to Melissa, Kevin & Katrina from the customer lounge. My
setup failed, then the window of opportunity closed because of our
grandson's bath & bed time we gave up on the idea for

Very little TV tonight... but some late evening reading in bed.

High temp outside the service bldg=55 Lights out: 11:15pm

Awake 6:51am Temp 38 Partly sunny & windy Overnight @ Miami, OK
Newell motorcoach campground

Kathy makes her famous sourdough pancakes with eggs & bacon.

Cool outside & very windy. I venture out a few times to look @ the other
Newell motorhomes in the area. Kathy stays in our warm bus throughout the

I call Dick & Christine, leave a "Happy Anniversary" message.

Remainder of the day: I look through old magazines & cut out articles
relating to traveling interests...things to see & do. Kathy reads some of
her novel & some motorhome magazines.

Early 5:00pm Dinner: Kathy's famous Chili & triscuits.

After dinner: Watch double feature movie on cable with popcorn: "The
Truman Story" with Jim Carry & "Winning" with Paul Newman. We preferred
the Truman story over Winning.

High temp today=50 Lights out: 11:25pm

Awake 6:58am Temp 53 Clear Overnight @ Bartlesville, OK

After moving the bus about 1000 feet, then draining our black water tank,
we leave the Riverside RV Resort @ 11:24am. It was a nice & convenient
campground for us with some extremely good campground owners.

All of our travel today was on country roads & driving through small towns
which slowed our average speed a little. We arrived @ the Newell
Motorcoach Factory campground @ 1:23pm.

Today's travel: 1+59 min 82.4 miles 10.25 gal 8.04 mpg 43.2 avg speed

After parking, we drive our dirty Suzuki into town & have it laser washed
by the touchless system. Then we attend 5:00pm Mass @ the Church 0f the
Sacred Heart of Jesus. Back to the bus @ 6:20pm.

7:30 Dinner: Leftover tuna casserole, asparagus in roasted garlic & olive
oil + raisin/pecan bread.

Evening time: Watch classic movie on cable: "The Big Sleep" with Lauren
Bacall & Humphrey Bogart. The plot was so complicated, it distracted us
from enjoying the movie.

High temp today=82 Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake 5:43am Temp 40 Clear & windy Overnight @ Bartlesville, OK

Attend St. John Children's Mass @ 815am. The priest, Fr. Festus, from
Zimbabwe, did a marvelous job of talking with the children during the

After breakfast, I take our computer to the campground office & use their
Wi-Fi signal to connect. Due to our distant parking site from the office &
maybe some trees & other RV's blocking the signal, we get no hint of Wi-Fi
in our motorhome. Dave & his wife, the campground owners, ask me to try
out a USB Network Adapter as a test for our extended range. I download the
program, make the prescribed connections, even open one of our motorhome
windows to place the antenna...but still no signal. Dave appreciates my
efforts & tells me that they are working on strengthening their Wi-Fi
signal for everyone that parks in their campground.

@1:25pm, we drive into town & sign up for the 2:00pm tour of the Price
Tower. Frank Lloyd Wright built the Price Tower @ the request of Harold
Price, founder of H.C. Price Co., a world renowned pipeline construction
and pipe coating firm. This is the tallest project built by Wright, tower
height is 191 ft.; to the top of the spire is 221 ft. Original cost
estimate in 1953: $800,000.00 - The completed project cost was 2.5 million
in 1956. The entire design is based on a diamond modular of 30 degree & 60
degree triangles; triangle ceiling lights, air vents, stair steps,
elevator cubicles, bathrooms, bookshelves, desks, etc. Construction of the
tower floors are all cantilevered, providing unobstructed views of the
surrounding city. The 4 inner columns which house the 4 elevators are the
main strength for the 19 story building. While the architectural
engineering & ingenuity of Mr. Wright's designed Price Tower draws
tourists from all over the world, there are a few downsides to this
magnificant structure.

The 4 triangular elevators are so small, most of the office equipment had
to be crane lifted from outside up to it's destination floor, and windows
temporarily removed allowing for the placement of the equipment. Not only
that, but nearly every piece of furniture was designed by Wright, custom
made and some built in to fit the angular spaces. All floors from 3 up to
15 are basically identical in design. But as the tower gains altitude, the
floor space gets smaller: the 18th floor was Mr. Price's executive office
& conference room but was so small, only a handful of people could be
assembled at one time. The elevators could take 3 thin people @ a time
without luggage or one person with a limited amount of luggage.

It was a fascinating tour of a uniquely designed, ahead-of-its-time,
multiuse structure (it was originally designed to combine business
offices, shops, and apts). There is a lot more I could say about the
buildings' shortcomings, but the practicality of this attractive structure
is not really the main theme at all, it's the architecture. It's one of
those "must see to believe" accomplishments.

It was too windy for a walk after our Price Tower tour so we did a little
more suburban exploring by car & then returned to the bus around 5:10pm.

6:10pm Dinner: Crab cakes from Costco, zucchini & red peppers in lemon
herb butter & wild + brown rice with walnuts.

Evening: Magazine & novel reading for us. A little break from the TV.

High temp today=66 Lights out: 11:59pm

Awake 5:10am Temp 39 Partly cloudy Overnight @ Bartlesville, OK

Attend 7:00am mass @ St. John church in Bartlesville(5 min drive).

After breakfast, we drive North to Dewey(15 min) & visit the Tom Mix
museum. As a young boy on the farm, I would listen to the Tom Mix radio
series on our cathedral Phillips vacuum tube radio. He was my favorite
cowboy. This museum, for the size, has an amazing collection of Tom's
saddles, boots, clothing, trophies, wide belts, photos of his cars, movie
scenes, family, etc. We watch one of his movies from 1932, "My Pal, The
King," one of only 9 sound movies he made, in their small theatre. Mickey
Rooney, ll yrs old, starred in this movie as the boy king. What I didn't
know when listening to those radio programs: Tom Mix was already dead! He
died in October, 1940; I was born in August, 1940. Hollywood kept him
alive for years afterward. Tom Mix was born & raised near Dubois,

We drive back to Bartlesville & lunch downtown @ the Hamburger Shop.

Then tour the Frank Phillips home not far from downtown & learn about the
man who formed the Phillips Petroleum campany & literally helped make the
city of Bartlesville in the process. This 26 room estate with its 5 car
detached garage was built in 1909 & renovated twice with the last
renovation being 1930. When the granddaughter donated the house to the OK
Historical Society in 1973, no significant changes had been made since
1930, thus, with few exceptions, furniture, decorations and even personal
effects are original. Walking through the estate on tour, was like
stepping back in time & experiencing the homelife of a very wealthy
family. According to records, the Phillips family was very generous to the
city of Bartlesville over the years. During the great depression, there
were a number of local churches in the city that were struggling to avoid
bankruptcy....Frank & Jane paid off each of their mortages, one of their
many generous deeds. Uncle Frank & Aunt Jane, as they were referred to,
were well liked & respected by many. Story has it that Frank always had
quarters in his pocket which he gave to children he met as he walked to
work. Also at Christmas he gave every child in Bartlesville a silver
dollar in a special envelope. We spend over 3 hrs touring this mansion &
garage. The garage was converted to a museum chronicling how the Phillips
Petroleum Company began & grew as well as more personal information about
the life of Frank and Jane.

Next, we walk the bike/jogging trail starting @ Johnstone park...for an
hour of exercise. Back to the bus @ 5:00pm.

6:45pm Dinner: Leftover slivered pork tenderloin with pasta in a sherry
cream sauce & romaine lettuce salad.

No movies tonight. Nothing worth watching. I did tune in the history
channel covering the building & enlarging of the oil tankers of the world.
Kathy spent some time reading.

High temp today=63 Lights out: 11:13pm

Awake 5:10am Temp 45 Cloudy & windy Overnight @ Porter, Oklahoma

Attend 7:00am mass in the church chapel @ Saint Joseph in Muskogee.

Casual morning in the campground, then leave the Crossroads RV Park &
Campground @ 11:23am. A windy day with cornering headwinds. We choose the
Muskogee turnpike to begin our route(a rare splurge for us). Our 5 axles
for 30 miles of travel cost $4.50. But...this made our day a lot smoother;
better roads and fewer small towns and trafic lights to deal with.
Arrive @ the Riverside RV Resort @ 1:40pm. A small family park with 79
sites. They offer us a deal: If we would park in one of their sites
without a septic hook-up, but still have water, electric & cable, they
will give us the 3rd day free. That brings the cost per day down to $8.00.
It's a deal.

Today's travel: 1+53 hrs 83 miles 11 gal 7.55 mpg 49.4 avg speed

We park the bus, then drive the Suzuki to downtown Bartlesville(5 min).
This city of 35 thousand is alive & well. I am curious to find out more.

Before dinner, we walk the bike & joggers trail along the Caney river for
50 min of exercise.

6:35 Dinner: Tuna curry casserole with spinach salad & garlic bread.
After dinner: A double feature: "Designing Woman" with Gregory Peck &
Lauren Bacall and "The Shootist" with John Wayne & Lauren Bacall. We liked
both of these classic movies.

High temp today=54 Lights out: 11:18pm

Awake 6:38am Temp 41 Sunny Overnight @ Sanger, Texas

I call Ron & Vi, our neighbors 2 sites say goodbye & hope to meet
up with them again somewhere, sometime. They will be hanging out in this
campground for at least another month.

Call Shirley in Vancouver, WA to wish her a "Happy Birthday" one day late.
A short call but it was nice talking with her.

Leave the Texas Sundown Ranch & RV Resort @ Sanger @ 11:20am. Road
conditions today mostly smooth with sections of wash-boarding & roughness
+ a 10 to 15 mph crosswind. We notice several trees along the way housing
mistletoe, but nothing like the abundance of mistletoe growing in the
Mesquite trees near and in Abilene.

Arrive @ the Crossroads RV Park @ 4:10pm. A small park but big rig
friendly with easy off & back on the highway. We did make a stop @ the
Oklahoma visitors center so Kathy could load up with brochures &
pamphlets, must know "what's happening in OK?"

Today's travel: 4+12 hrs 221 miles 26.6 gal 8.31 mpg 54.1 avg speed

After parking, we make a trip into Muskogee & tour the downtown area & a
few suburbs. It's kinda sad, but this same scenario is happening to so
many cities across America: the dying of our inner cities as we see here
today in Muskogee. The big box stores & shopping malls built out in
suburbia are sucking the downtown stores dry. What's the answer?

8:00pm Dinner: Slivered pork tenderloin with pasta in a sherry cream
sauce, asparagus sauted with fresh orange slices in boursin sauce +
raisin/pecan bread.

Late evening: Watch sitcoms: "Everybody loves Raymond" + "Seinfeld" on
local channel with antenna.

High temp today=64 Lights out: 12:35am

Awake 6:43am Temp 54 Sunny Overnight @ Sanger, Texas

Casual morning. @ 1:30pm, we drive to Denton(20 min) & tour the downtown
Denton area & square. The Denton County Courthouse with its massive
limestone walls and soaring clock tower has been called "the most
picturesque pile of rocks in North Texas." We then drive thru the campus
of Texas Woman's University (the nation's largest univ primarily for
women) & spend maybe 35 min experiencing the "Little Chapel in the Woods"
where First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended the dedication ceremonies in
1939. Ten stained glass windows, designed by students, depict the theme
"Women Ministering to Human Needs." Neat!

Then some light shopping @ Wal-Mart before attending 5:00pm mass @ the
Immaculate Conception church on the other side of town from the Wal-Mart.
Rush hr traffic was heavy so we arrived about 2 min late. Afterward, we
return to the Wal-Mart shopping area & visit the Cingular Cell phone store
to discuss better reception with our cell phone while traveling. No
decision made. Back to the bus @ 8:20pm.

9:15 Dinner: Leftover eggplant parmesan & fresh mixed salad.

Later evening: Watch video from clubhouse library: "Air America" with Mel
Gibson & Robert Downey Jr. Action packed with airplanes & choppers...but
this flick was not the down to earth style that Kathy likes.

High temp today=63 Lights out: 12:52am

Awake 6:30am Temp 57 High overcast Overnight @ Sanger, Texas

Casual morning for us. We have instant on phone service here which makes
it very convenient for us to use our computer or make calling card long
distance phone calls that we can both talk @ the same time.

Mid morning, I call my young friend Ray in Long Beach, WA. We gab about 50
min covering a number of topics, especially our families.

@ 11:30am We join our neighbors Ron & Vi + Ron's daughter Pat, her husband
Greg, & their 4 children...& walk to the clubhouse restaurant for a buffet
lunch. Since we had skipped breakfast this morning & the food was so good,
this meal could suffice for most of the day. These are good people to hang
out with.

Mid afternoon, we visit with Ron & Vie again to see their new 4 slide
Phantom motorhome.....very nice.

Late afternoon, we start making phone calls & take advantage of our
instant on service. Call the Footes in briefly with
Kevin. Melissa & Matthew just started napping so we'll call them later.

Call Nick in Seattle: He's @ Isilon doing some computer work now with
plans of meeting a colleague in about an hr. He sounds good & is happy
that his plans of marriage are moving along smoothly. We talk for 50 min.

Call Zack in Seattle: Zack is recovering from a cold & just returned from
buying a new mattress. He reports liking his job & tries to snow us with
some complicated computer facts. We talk for 40 min.

Call the Footes again. Kevin's Mom just left last evening after visiting
for 9 days, so they are still recouping from that excitement. We talk for
about 50 min.

7:50pm Dinner snack: Leftover chicken stir fry with waldorf salad.

Call Katrina in Anchorage: She gives us a glowing report about her
week-end retreat in Willow, AK with 70 other kids from her Change Point
church. Aside from her allergy, she reports doing well. We talk for an hr.

It's comforting for us parents to talk with our children & know that they
are doing well in their lives. We miss hanging out with them but also
realize, that they too have their own world to live in & enjoy.

Todays high temp=67 Lights out: 12:24am

Awake 5:50am Temp 51 Overcast Overnight @ Tye, Texas

Leave the Tye RV Park @ 9:35am. Great travel day; overcast & light winds.
After 2.5 hrs, we take a rest stop break & I listen to our cell phone
messages now that we're getting a good & strong AT&T signal. I'm just not
that happy with the AT&T cell phone coverage throughout Texas. I'll
probably begin checking into other competitive plans in our spare time.

A lot of traffic as we approach Fort Worth, 6 & 7 lanes at

Arrive @ the Texas Sundown Ranch & RV Resort @ 2:45pm...45 miles North of
Dallas, TX.

Today's travel: 3+54 hrs 208.4 miles 23.4 gal used 8.96 mpg 56.8 avg

This campground was a former working an open range, spacious
campground with a par 3 golf course, swimming pool, gym & game room, a
home cooking restaurant + many other amenities.
We get directions for the nearest Catholic Church in Denton, TX(20 min) &
attend 5:00 pm Mass @ the Immaculate Conception Church. We talk with
Monsignor Charles King before Mass & get introduced as visitors from
Alaska in church.

8:00pm Dinner: Spiced up leftover salmon...made into patties. We try a
different kind of popcorn, "Black Jewel." The unpopped kernels are black
and beige, but when popped the very small kernels are super white. We
snack on this popcorn (we prefer Act II) while watching a video from the
clubhouse library: " What the Deaf Man Heard." Interesting movie & easy
to watch.

High temp today=69 Lights out: 11:40pm

Awake 4:47am Temp 50 Low overcast Overnight @ Tye, Texas

We try to attend 7:00am mass this morning @ Holy Family church but the
door to the Chapel was locked...oops. As we are leaving, a car pulls into
the lot so we ask "what's up?" This person tells us that Friday's mass
will be @ 8:30am. Ok, we don't have a back to the bus for
breakfast, then back to the church for 8:30 mass,(a 10 mile drive).

From here, we drive downtown(another 10 miles) & tour the "Frontier
Texas," a newly opened museum covering a century (1780-1880)of the
history of this region of Texas. Thru legends, dramatic media and
dimensional exhibits, the history & adventure of this area of Texas & how
it was transformed from an open prairie, populated by buffalo & Indians,
to the ranch lands & towns of pioneer Texans comes to life. Via the magic
of holographic and state of the art technology, we hear and see stories
in "first-person" from pioneers, Indians, soldiers, and buffalo hunters.
They look& talk like real warm blooded people only a few feet away. We
spend 2 hrs here learning about that past century of time. It was very
interesting & well done. Well
worth our time.

Next, we lunch downtown @ the Hickory Street Cafe, a 1920's house, open
only for lunch from 11:00-2:00.

Afterward, we do a self guided tour of the historic Paramount Theatre. No
charge for this & we're free to roam throughout the bldg. This 1200 seat
theatre, completed in 1930, was fully renovated in 1986 & is a gem of a
structure. We looked & opened doors to just about everything we could.
Today this Theatre continues to hold it's own & bring in more of an
audience as the downtown area slowly revitalizes. We appreciated the
touring opportunity. Back to the bus @ 3:40pm. Once inside the coach, I
reach for my
prescription reading glasses to make notes of today's activities & they
are missing from my shirt pocket-Yikes! A moment of panic, then I remember
using them @ the Cafe where we lunched while reading where the eating
utensils were manufactured & I did return them to my shirt pocket. Sooo,
they must be somewhere in that theatre. While Kathy makes dinner, I make a
fast 20 min drive back to the downtown theater with my flashlight. Tell
the office personnel that I lost my glasses & will be retracing our tour
steps. I figure if they are anywhere, they will be on the 2nd floor
balcony leading to the 3rd tier of seats where I leaned over to scrutinize
those usher aisle lights on those classic theatre seats....sure enough, my
flashlight spotted them on the rug in the semi-darkness. I hadn't missed
from my shirt pocket what-so-ever. I was thankful to have them back.
Return to the coach @ 4:25.

6:15 Dinner: Eggplant parmesan, wholewheat pasta, spinach & lettuce salad.

@ 7:45pm we attend the Abilene Community Theatre(15 min drive) & watch
"Goodbye Charlie," a comedy about a notorious playboy and man about town
who meets an untimely death at the hands of a jealous husband. As a bit of
cosmic justice, he comes back as a beautiful blonde...woman. He must
transform his personality to female, too, with the help of his best
friend, who isn't sure of his own feelings. It was their 2nd night &,
well, it has potential.

High temp today= 64 Lights out: 11:50pm

Awake 6:00am Temp 49 Foggy Overnight @ Tye, Texas

Attend 7:00am mass @ the Holy Family church in Abilene on Buffalo Gap
Road. We had trouble finding this church due to darkness & fog. We were 10
min late.

The fog & the temperature take their good ole time rising this morning, so
we watch a movie on cable: "The Haunted Castle." An old classic that we
both enjoyed with Vincent Price.

Call Mark in Anchorage & leave a msg.

@ 1:15pm, we drive into Abilene & do a grid driving tour of the city,
population 115,000. There are many large business buildings, some
renovated & some new. There are wide streets, but for a weekday afternoon
in this city, something is missing: There is little traffic & no people!
Where is everyone? We stop & go into the classic & renovated: "Grace
Hotel," a turn of the century hotel, built in 1909, that is directly
across from the renovated railroad depot. In it's heyday, this place was
the cat's meow, elegantly serving people as they disembarked from the
train. Now it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and
portions of it are restored to its 1929 condition, while other parts of
the building have been renovated to make it appropriate for 3 museums
housed here...the Fine Arts Museum, Abilene Historical Museum, and the
Children's Museum.

We continue our driving tour & just down the street, another Abilene
Historic Landmark: the fully restored 1930s Paramount Theatre. It's very
costly & a lot of work to keep these classic theatres alive & active, but
we love seeing them & we admire the city council members for getting the
bucks & people to support this.

We do some light shopping @ the HEB & United grocery stores before
returning to the bus @ 4:30pm.

6:40 Dinner: Pork chops, broccoli in cream sauce, sweet potatoes & fresh
romaine mixed salad.

Evening time: Watch movie on cable: "Man from Snowy River." We both had
seen parts of this flick yrs ago & decided to watch it to the finish
tonight. It was ok.

High temp today= 63 Lights out: 10:02pm

Awake 5:50am Temp 46 Foggy Overnight @ Midland, Texas

Attend 8:00am mass @ St. Ann's parlor.
After breakfast, we take turns using the modem line in the campground
office for our computer use.

Leave the Midland RV campground @ 12:27pm. Smooth roads continue on I-20.
As we travel across the state of Texas, it's amusing & entertaining to see
the many changes from West to East in the natural & man made landscaping
scenes. For example: Miles of rugged mountainous terrain; miles of desert
emptiness; miles of fields filled with prickly pear cactus; miles of
fields full of rocks; miles of fields with short trees; miles of fields of
red dirt; miles of fields of brown dirt; miles of fields containing debris
of old rusty oil industry equipment, etc.

Arrive @ Tye RV Park @ 3:00pm. An old Good Sam Park that the owner choose
not to be a member of anymore because the inspections were too strict.

Today's travel: 2+40 time 145 miles 15 gal 9.63 mpg 57.2 avg speed

Kathy plugs us into their 50 amp service providing power for our bus.
About 10 mins later, I notice our electrical monitor lights blinking up
front. I run to the outside meter box which is now smoking & making bad
noises. I switch the 50 amp service off & pull the plug. I think the
circuit breaker burned up. Fortunately there is another 50 amp circuit box
5 ft away that is not being used, looks new & healthy so I plug into that
one which works just fine.

6:05pm Dinner: Canned salmon(from Mark of Anchorage)with rice pilaf, fresh
tomatoes, fresh spinach & raisin/ pecan bread.

Call Don & Josie in PA, leave msg for Josie wishing her a happy birthday &
a happy retirement.

Watch movie on cable: " Man in the Grey Flannel Suit." Good flick with
Gregory Peck.

High temp today: 65 Lights out: 10:22pm

Awake 6:00am Temp 40 Clear sky Overnight @ Midland, TX

Attend 8:00am mass @ St. Ann's Parlor in Midland.

A casual day for us. Kathy continues organizing her photo albums & I pay
some bills both by check & on line. Mid day, I call Tye RV park near
Abilene, TX & make reservations for tomorrow & Thursday.

I also call Tommy @ Newell. I ask him about our auto transfer switch on
our motorhome. It hasn't been picking up the auxilary generator & taking
the load, twice now. It tries by cycling but doesn't lock in. Tommy says
I could take a stick & push the contacts together but be careful. As long
as I have shore power, I won't need the generator but it's nice to have
this info in the event we do need it.

6:00pm Dinner: Italian sausage from Johnstown, PA, with homemade marinara
sauce, whole wheat pasta, fresh mixed salad & garlic bread.

Mid evening: Watch movie on cable: "Outrageous Fortune." This flick was
good & funny.

High temp today=70 Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake 7:25am Temp 38 Cloudy Overnight @ Midland, TX

Attend 8:00am mass @ St. Ann's parlor in Midland.
Casual morning. Then @ 1:00pm, we drive to the Midland airport & spend 3.5
hrs touring the Commemorative Air Force Flying Museum. The most exciting
thing for me to see was the only flying B-29 in existence today. It's in
the BIG hangar having some heavy maintenance performed, mostly by
volunteers...they hope to have it flying in July in time for the annual
Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin in August. One room in another building was
dedicated to what they call: Nose Art. The largest collection from
fuselages of world war II aircraft ever as they were being scrapped after
the war...these were amazing to see in person.
Other rooms had collections of authentic WW II artifacts & memorabilia:
Uniforms, armament, photographs, weapons & equipment. Huge exhibits detail
the story of WW II airpower...from the rise of German & Japanese
militarism before WW II to the introduction of the atomic age & little boy
+ big man. This museum is well done & for sure, a constant reminder of how
terrible war can be. Back to the bus & 5:15pm.

7:30 Dinner: Brown rice, stir fry veggies & fresh salad.

Evening time: Reading

High temp today=63 Lights out: 11:05pm

Awake 7:45am Temp 36 Sunny Overnight Midland, Texas

Leave @ 11:30am for Odessa, TX(15 min drive) to see the downtown area &
then to visit the George H.W. Bush Presidential library. One brochure
advertized it would be open for touring today...another said it was not.
Well, the latter was right on, it was closed up. So we visit an HEB
grocery store & buy a few needed supplies, take them back to the bus &
then visit the downtown area of Midland, TX(10 min drive). Interesting
difference in these two cities, both are associated big time with the oil
industry but Midland is so much more advanced economically than it's
neighbor Odessa. Population for each, approximately 90,000. Downtown
Midland looks like it could be Houston or many high rise
business buildings: banks, hotels, convention center, etc. Many churches
of different denominations. Both cities claim the Bush's resided in their
town....& that's true.

Late afternoon, we take our test phone to the campground office & use
their modem line to return Nick's cell phone call. Short talk with Nick as
he was rendezvousing with a colleague to work on a project for their class
at UW.

8:30 Dinner: Italian beef sandwich....The beef & juice was from Luke's in
Remainder of evening, we watch Oscar Awards on cable TV. Such opulence!

High temp today=58 lights out: 11:10pm

Awake 5:55am Temp 45 Cloudy overnight El Paso, Texas

First thing this morning, I call Midland RV campground & make a
reservation for tonight. We watch the weather channel on cable & there is
a possibility of some rain Eastbound on I-20.

Leave the Samson RV park @ 9:40am. The smooth roads continue...about 3 hrs
later we catch up with the rain Eastbound. Arrive @ the Midland RV
Campground @ 3:40pm (including time zone change).

Today's travel: 5+02 282 miles 31.5 gal 8.96 mpg 57.3 avg speed

Heavy rain when arriving this campground & very muddy...both car &
motorhome a dirty mess. We use Wal-Mart bags on our feet when walking to
our car, then remove the bags.

Attend St. Ann's 5:30 mass in Midland(12 min drive). The mass lasted 1.5
hrs however. The Bishop presided & honored the represented scout packs.
It's a very large church & was well attended.

8:30pm Dinner: Leftover stuffed peppers with 4 bean salad.

Late evening: Watch cable movie:"Dangerous minds." We both liked this movie.

High temp today= 53 lights out: 12:36am

Awake 6:02am Temp 41 Some light rain...then sunny Overnight Las Cruces

Attend 8:15 mass @ I. H. of M. Afterward make a quick stop @ Albertson's
grocery store.
After breakfast, we both shower in the campground clubhouse...the best
shower yet, aside from our bus. Their individual rooms include a bathroom
toilet, enclosed shower, sink with mirror, a sitting chair & mats. Had we
known how nice it was, we might have showered long before this.

Leave the Sunny Acres RV park @ 11:31am. Entering the state of Texas, we
stop @ the Tourist Information building where Kathy loads up on brochures,
magazines, maps etc for the route we are likely to take. While she's doing
that, I take time to calculate how much fuel remaining we have & how many
miles we can reasonably make with that amount of fuel. Having that
estimate, our next stop is a Flying J truck stop to top off our 234 gallon

We arrive @ the small Samson RV park @ 1:45pm.

Today's travel: 1+33 67 miles 8.5 gal 7.87 mpg 45.8 avg speed.

This park is undoubtedly the smallest RV park we've been in yet....but it
too, is BIG rig friendly.

After parking & hooking up, we drive the Suzuki into El Paso & do a little
sight seeing + light shopping. Back to our bus @ 4:30. Then a little more
curious driving to see the small towns of Horizon & Socorro nearby.

8:30pm Dinner: Crab cakes, German potato salad from a can & fresh mixed
9:00pm Watch Barbara Walters on 20/20 & her coverage of some of the stars
who had a difficult home life but made it big in Hollywood.

High temp today=54 Light out: 12:45am

Awake 5:45am Temp 45 Rain most of morning Overnight @ Las Cruces, N.M.

We attend 8:15am mass @ the I.H.of M. The rain discourages us from any
outdoor activities this morning & from driving to our planned next

It was destined to be. This morning when I called to make reservations in
El Paso, TX they were all booked up until March 11. These lower states'
campgrounds are much in demand for the RV travelers now. We know...we are
happy to be here for sure.

Late afternoon, after perusing many campgrounds near El Paso, I finally
called & made a reservation @ the Samson RV park 20 miles East of El Paso
for tomorrow.
We both take turns using the modem line in the clubhouse this afternoon.

4:30 Dinner: Copper river salmon, veggie dish of asparagus, tomato with
garlic & boursin cheese + a fresh salad.

Early evening: Watch video from the clubhouse library: "The summer of Ben
Tyler." A very heartwarming & family style movie.

High temp today=53 Lights out: 10:13pm

Awake 6:03am Temp 47 Overnight showers, then hail, a thunderstorm &
off & on rain throughout the day. Overnight @ Las Cruces, N.M.

We attend 8:15 mass @ the Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral(10 min
drive)from our campground. A large church, they had quite a few buckets
scattered about the church inside to catch the water from their leaking
flat roof. Afterward, we try in vain to find the Farmer's Market @ the
downtown mall...somehow we missed seeing it.

Due to the not so nice weather today, we spend hrs hanging out in our
coach...Kathy working on her photo album project...I, planning on our next
destination. Today we join another camping organization called: "Passport
America." This group expands our campground options to 800 more choices.

At times today, the ground was covered with hail everywhere in our
campground. In between waves of nasty weather, I would take my computer,
along with my umbrella, to the nearby club house & log on.

8:20pm Dinner: Delicious beef stew, fresh salad & multi-grain toast.

Late evening, we watch a video from the club house: "Tin Cup." A fairly
entertaining flick.

High temp today= 69 Lights out: 12:32 am

Awake 6:30am Temp 46 Partly sunny Overnight @ Deming, N.M.

Attend 8:30am mass @ the Holy Family School Chapel. After our late
breakfast, we pay our camping fee + our electrical kilo-watts usage. This
is the 1st time we've had this consumptson itemized. Total cost for 4 days
camping = $64.23. Not too shabby. A decent campground @ a decent price.

We say goodbye to these nice people & leave the Dream Catcher RV park @

Today's travel: 1+12 55.5 miles 6.3 gal 8.88 mpg 50.3 avg speed

We encountered some road construction en route & arrived @ the Sunny Acres
RV park in Las Cruces, New Mexico @ 12:45pm. It's BIG rig friendly with
wide streets & turns.

After parking & setting up, we drive about 4 miles in our Suzuki to the
historic town of Old Mesilla, "the Eye of the Cross." Back in the middle
1850's, when the population was 600, the two main trails in this part of
the country crossed in old Mesilla. The Chihuahua to Santa Fe, & San
Antonia to San Diego. So this area was the regional center for commerce &
transportation. By 1870, Mesilla had 9 general stores, 3 doctors, 1
dentist, 1 hotel, 5 lawyers, a billiard hall, 2 meat markets, 2 printing
offices, 2 mills + mail & stage line. Would you believe, most of these
original buildings are intact today & occupied. We have a map of the town
square & of most of the nearby structures so we do a self tour. The town
itself is well preserved &, of course, is the main attraction for us
tourists. We were impressed. Back to our coach before 5:00pm.

Shortly after 5:00, the sky opened up & heavy rain deluged the area. Our
timing was good.
6:25 Dinner: Stuffed pepper & fresh mixed salad + bread.

Late evening: watch movie on cable: "Get Shorty" with John Travolta.
Today's high temp=73 Lights out: 11:06pm

Awake 5:05am Temp 39 High thin clouds West Overnight @ Deming, N.M.

@ 9:00am this morning, we sign up for the Escapee one yr membership.
Advantages: More options on campgrounds across the nation...& @ a lower

Another plan today is to sign up for the "TengoInternet" wireless access
system they have here & throughout the lower 48 states. I started the
process by going on line & signing up @ 10:30am. 3 hrs later, I am not
able to download. Spent over an hr talking with the guru's in California
to no avail. In short, they tell me something is blocking normal
downloads. It was a little frustrating. So for now, I quit. Maybe I'll try
again in the morning.

Meanwhile, Kathy has been reading a novel & relaxing in the coach. And
they say woman live longer because...?

@ 3:30pm we walk this small campground for exercise.

5:05pm Dinner: Hey, guess what, I don't remember. I'll ask Kathy. Guess
what, since we are writing this 9 days after the fact, I don't remember

Watch video from clubhouse: "Passenger 57." Good flick. Lots of action.

Late evening reading in bed.

High temp today=63 Lights out: 10:32pm

Awake 5:02am Temp 42 Mostly sunny & windy Overnight @ Deming, N.M.

Casual morning. I make a quick run to a nearby Wal-Mart for milk, then
some reading & planning for our next campground move.
@ 11:35, we leave for the St. Clair Winery visitors center, the largest
winery in New Mexico. There is no tour, only a nice hospitality and
tasting room. We spent over an hr here...sampling, of course, but even
more, talking with our hostess, who lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for 37 yrs.
She worked @ the University & without a doubt, has seen & experienced more
of Alaska then we ever will. We liked their Chardonnay wine a lot, so we
bought 2 bottles.

Next, we drive into Deming & spend nearly 2 hrs @ the Luna Mimbres Museum.
This place is a sleeper, a diamond in the rough so to speak. So much to
see, so interesting to read about. It is a notable museum of New Mexico.

5:00pm Dinner: Turkey tenders with turkey gravy, potatoes, broccoli with
cream sauce & fresh salad.

@ 6:15 we attend an Ice Cream social @ the club house. Nice friendly
people who enjoy the RV lifestyle. I think we'll fit in nicely.

Early evening: Watch video: "Indictment." An excellent flick. You won't
nap during this movie....based on a true story.

High temp today=65 Lights out: 10:30pm

Awake 5:32am Temp 44 Mostly sunny Overnight: Deming, New Mexico

These last 3 days, Kathy's allergy has gotten worse. Last night her throat
hurt a lot & her cough was very dry. It's not like her to complain much
but today she's in favor of visiting the small Mexican town of Palomas, a
40 min drive from our campground & maybe finding some prescription
medicine to help the cause. Since this decision is firm, Kathy calls her
buddy Jeri from Florida to find out if she needs any medicine...she does &
Jeri gives her a list over the phone.
The drive South was great except for the strong Southwest wind trying to
blow our Suzuki off the road. The border crossing was typical, a short
walk across & a quick inspection of purchases when returning to the US

In Palomas, we check on prices & availability of medicine with 3
pharmacies, then make the decision to buy nothing for Jeri....prices way
out of line. For Kathy, we were able to get Tesalon, (to diminish
coughing) a prescription drug in the US, but not in Mexico. The winds that
tried to force us off the road en route are now blowing dust in our eyes,
Kathy's hair & mine too & our clothes as we walk along the unpaved streets
of Palomas.

Shortly after we return to our bus, a fast moving thunderstorm with even
stronger winds & heavy rain pass quickly thru the area. By the time we
attend mass @ 5:00pm @ the Holy Family Church in Deming, blue sky was
clearly evident.

We both felt dusty from Palomas so we shower in the campground clubhouse
before dinner.

8:00pm Dinner: Pork chops, stir fry veggies in cream sauce, leftover
potatoes, carrots & outdoor roast + bread.

Late evening: Watch movie: "Beat the devil." The audio part of the movie
was not so good & difficult to hear & understand.

High temp today=67 Lights out: 11:26pm

Awake 5:53am Temp 48 Rain during the night..then sun Overnight Willcox, AZ

After 7:00am mass @ the small Sacred Heart church in Willcox, we again
exercise in the campground's gym for 20 min. And again, I climb the
telescoping ladder to clean off the top of our slides due to rain.

Leave the Lifestyle RV Resort @ 11:55am. Crossing into New Mexico, we stop
@ the tourist information center. I check the bus & shoot the tires with
my in-farad temperature sensor measuring any difference while Kathy arms
herself with brochures & magazines of what to see & do thru this section
of N.M.

We arrive @ the Dream Catcher RV Park in Deming, N.M. @ 2:45pm.

Today's travel: 2hr+37min 15.1 gal 8.97 mpg 53.6 avg speed

After parking & getting hooked up to the umbilical cords, we attend a
social hr group in the club house. Everyone introduces themselves, telling
where they're from and how long they've been RVing. We follow suit and add
that we are still married & talking with each other after 29 days of
full-timing! Then some mingling afterward. A nice introduction to the park
& it's people.

In the clubhouse, there's a library of videos for the borrowing. We pick
out a few for watching later.

6:00pm Dinner: Alaska copper river salmon & leftover crab cake from Mimi's
Later, we watch the video movie: "Notorious" while eating popcorn. The
movie was, but the popcorn was great.

High temp today=69 Deming elevation=4306 Lights out: 10:20pm

Awake 5:15am Temp 50 Cloudy...then rain Overnight Willcox, AZ

Casual morning. I make numerous phone calls...some of them in changing our
mailing address & getting tax numbers ready to send to Jeff in Alaska.

Kathy continues her photo album organization.

Early afternoon, we both do a light 20 min workout in the campground gym,
which is fairly well equipped but the equipment is dated as are these 2

Then we drive around the town of Willcox which became established when the
railroad came thru during the mid to late 1800's. In those days, the
cowboys would drive their cattle to Willcox, round them up & load them
into the cattle cars headed for the stockyards. Today, there are a lot of
empty store fronts as we drive thru the main section of town. We notice
how well kept the old railroad depot looks thinking it's either a museum
or still an active passenger station....neither of either, the depot is
being used for the official town offices. In our touring, we walk into an
old bank building, now a book, arts & craft store + some antiques. In
talking with this store owner, he suggests that we visit the East side of
town for a different view. Sure enough, the East side is near the
interstate with modern hotels, supermarkets & many active businesses. We
visit the Stout's Cider Mill Store, family owned & operated now for 20
yrs. They grow their own apple trees(more than 20,000) & 26 varieties. We
treat ourselves to a cider cicle & Kathy gets a small jar of apple butter.

8:00pm Dinner: Chicken saute with apple, salad, and ???

Late evening, we watch a lot of commercials along with something of
substance on cable.

High temp today=62 Lights out: 10:51pm

Awake 5:22am Temp 50 Early rain..then some sun Overnight Sun City, AZ

The 4 of us attend 8:00am mass @ St. J & A. Gary & Rosemary leave shortly
after we return from church. Their next overnight stop will be Benson, AZ.
We wish them a bon voyage & maybe we'll see them in Pa this summer?

Because of the early rain, I get the telescoping ladder out to clean water
off the top of the slides before retracting them.

@10:50am we leave the Al & Wilma Rancho Ventura hangout & head down the
highway. The Rancho Ventura parking sites have worked out well for us
these last 3 yrs, & these people have been real good folks to accommodate
our motorhome + keep an eye on it during our trips back to Alaska. Now,
being full time RV gypsies, we may not get back here for awhile...&, if Al
sells the place & his 12 acres, things will undoubtly change.

Today's travel: 3 hrs 57 min 217 miles 26.4 gal of fuel 8.2 mpg 56 avg

Arrive @ the Lifestyle RV Resort in Willcox, AZ @ 2:45pm. Small campground
but big rig friendly. We have a phone line on site for an extra $2.00/day
& free Wi-fi.

6:15 Dinner: Leftover chili & bread.

Some cable TV watching during evening time.

Today's high temp=71 Elevation here=4300 ft Lights out: 11:11pm

Awake 6:15am Temp 55 Cloudy with light drizzle Overnight Sun City, AZ

Attend 8:00am mass @ St. J & A. After breakfast, I make reservations @ The
Lifestyle RV resort in Willcox, AZ for tomorrow & Thursday. Then I track
down Al & pay for our camping time here @ the Rancho Ventura.

Al & I get into a discussion of Al selling out & going "full time." He
says he gets so frustrated with his boys & how they handle the business
during his RV travels....something always happens & he feels he has to
return home to fix the problem. And the few times he hasn't been able to
come home immediately, they fixed the problem just fine themselves. "Well
Al, there's your answer" I tell him. "Give them more time to figure it out
before you come rushing home, like 6 or 8 months."

Meanwhile Kathy has been busy making an outside roast inside for tonight's
dinner, + separating the useful needlepoint books & other paraphenalia
that Mary has given Melissa from the not so useful things. When she
finishes, she'll drive over to the Lutheran Thrift Store & make another

Shortly after noon time, she speeds off with a suspicious smile on her
face heading for that thrift shop. During her absence, I replace the foam
seal on the rear camera plexiglass cover. It has been leaking moisture
inside & getting more difficult to see what's behind us. About an hr
later, Kathy returns with an almost new windbreaker for the right price.

Just as we finish having a light lunch, the swinging young couple from
Pahrump, NV, Gary & Rosemary are arriving. After they park their l-o-n-g
trailer, they visit with us in our rig & join us for dinner. We always
have a lot to talk about + they are especially good people to hang out

Around 6:30, we 4 eat dinner: salad followed by Kathy's outside roast with
carrots,onions, potatoes & garlic bread. We even had dessert tonight;
homemade lemon mousse with cookies and coffee. We continue to yak well
into the evening. Gary & Rosemary are casually camping their way back to
Texas to visit friends, then Ohio for family, then Pennsylvania to
finalize house plans for building their new home in St. Augustine. Pa this
High temp today=63 Lights out: 11:35pm

Awake 5:10am Temp 51 Mostly cloudy Overnight: Sun City, AZ

Attend 8:00a mass @ St. J & A. Afterward we drive straight to the Safeway
market for a few groceries & then...tra-da, we treat each other (using the
gift card that Melissa and Kevin gave us for Christmas) to a "buy one, get
one free" Starbucks Coffee for a Valentine's treat. Back to the coach for

After breakfast, we retract the slides, disconnect the umbilical cords &
maneuver the bus around the corner so we can empty our black water tank.
Kathy and I take advantage of this by showering & she does 2 loads of
laundry. I also do a check on all tires for proper tire pressure. We
haven't gotten any faster on this procedure as like Saturday the 5th, it
takes us 4 hrs again. Then I maneuver the bus back into it's shady spot.

@ 2:15 we leave for the Peoria library & return the DVDs, then visit with
Mary in Phoenix. She was a very good friend of Kathy's mom for yrs. Now
Kathy keeps in touch with her & today we take her out for lunch to Luke's
Italian beef place, one of Kathy's favorite hangouts for Italian beef &
mine too. This is the 1st time Mary has been here but many times, Kathy's
mom would bring these sandwiches to Mary for a lunch treat. After lunch,
we spend about 2 hrs @ Mary's apartment before starting our journey back
to the bus. Mary does give us 2 boxes of needle point stuff(pattern books,
magazines, plastic needle point sheets & a variety of smaller craft items)
to be given to Melissa sometime. Back to Rancho Ventura @ 8:15pm.

We have a few healthy snacks while I start planning our next campground
adventure & Kathy reads a novel.

High temp today=69 Lights out: 11:07pm

Awake 5:53am Temp 48 Mostly sunny Overnight: Sun City, AZ

Attend 8:00am mass @ St. J & A. A maxed out attendance this morning.

@ 11:30, we drive toward Mesa again, stopping @ Chevron for Suzuki fuel &
a few bottles of our favorite wine @ Safeway. Then continue to the Leisure
World retirement village where Diane is performing with a group of tap
dancers in: "Guys & Dolls" @ 2:00 pm. All of these dancers(about 30 ladies
& 3 guys) are well over 60 yrs of age. They have been practicing for
nearly 2 yrs on this performance. Bill & Diane were holding tickets for us
to see this and Bill escorted us to near front row seats.

Before the doors open, Dick calls from West Phoenix near Goodyear. He
thanks us for the luncheon on Thursday & highly encourages us to visit
with him & Christine later this summer @ Newport, OR.

The show was terrific. Diane did a great job as we expected but she did
emphasize later how one had to seriously concentrate on her tapping & not
be distracted by the audience during the performance. Our seating was 4
rows from the stage. We say our goodbyes for now.

We drive further East to Apache Junction & the Arizona Maverick campground
where we first parked our motorhome for a week in the fall of 2002. This
is where we met Ralph & Ruth. They were such friendly & nice folks that
we've been casually keeping in touch ever since. We visit them & their
gang for an hour then drive 55 miles back to the Rancho Ventura hangout.
Back @ 6:25pm.

8:10 Dinner: Leftover Tuna & noodle casserole with salad & bread.

Start watching the 3 hr DVD movie from library:"Mystic River" ...or should
I say continue watching as twice before on January 15 & 16, we started
watching this movie and ran out of time like we are doing tonight. We're
both too tired.

High temp today= 63 Lights out: 10:50

Awake 5:05am Temp 57 Intermittent rain,heavy @ times Overnight Sun City, AZ

Attend 8:00 am mass @ St. J & A. Father Bob was presider. Mass time 28 min.

After breakfast, drive to Costco in Avondale & pick up our developed
photos & a few groceries. Just before checking out, Katrina calls on cell
phone. I talk for 10 min, Kathy talks for 1 hr & 10 min. Now here is more
proof why I call myself.."the quiet one." As Kathy & Katrina yak away, I
drive back to the coach, Kathy unloads the groceries into the refer while
talking & we continue on our way to the Peoria Public Library to finally
get a card.
Kathy had to discontinue her phone talk before going into the library of
course. We take time to check our e-mail & get a few DVD movies to watch
later. Then we continue on our journey to the East side of the Phoenix
valley to East Mesa to visit & have dinner with Joe & Nancy. They bought
their Arizona home 7 yrs ago & gradually renovated & updated it to it's
present beautiful condition. Joe is very good @ home construction. It's
nice to see them having so much fun & enjoying their wintering in the Mesa
retirement community. Later this summer, Joe & Nancy will start building
their summer home in Sequim, WA.

4:45pm Dinner: Green salad, chicken with linguini in pesto sauce and a
side of asparagus; followed by coffee and a yummy homemade dessert bread
topped with ice cream. Nancy is quite a good cook.

Joe supplies us with fresh oranges, grapefruit & lemons from his backyard
trees as we leave. Our return to the coach takes 1 hr 15 min. Back @

Watch DVD movie from Peoria library: "Mona Lisa Smile." A good

High temp today=61 Lights out: 11:41pm


Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2005 is the previous archive.

April 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.