May 2005 Archives

Awake: 6:22am Temp 58 Cloudy Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

My sister Corinne calls from Lilly, PA & talks with Kathy for about 40
min. She tells Kathy she has talked enough & will talk with me next time.

Now that Kathy has her jaw warmed up, she calls her friend Jackie in
Anchorage & talks for some 40 min….then calls another friend Diane in
Anchorage & talks for over 40 min. During this long time frame, I am
checking our e-mail @ the e-mail room & paying some bills over the

Our coveted Cole & Mason pepper mill….made in England & given to us by
Melissa & Kevin…took a bad tumble when Kathy opened the pantry door,
falling onto the marble floor where it came apart ripping an electrical
artery off in the process. That happened Friday a week ago; yesterday, I
finally found the size & type wire I needed to do the fixing @ Henry’s
Hardware Store in Port Townsend. So today, using my new soldering gun &
special glue, forceps, scalpel & sutures, the pepper mill is again in good

7:20pm Dinner: Leftover Italian sausage, pasta, spaghetti sauce, mixed
salad & garlic toast.
After dinner, we walk the campground for 45 min of exercise. Darn beer!
Three days of drinking that darn beer & now we HAVE TO walk the campground
every day in an effort to get our belt buckles back into their regular

Late evening: watch a video movie from the clubhouse library: “A Simple
Plan” with Billy Bob Thornton. We liked this flick a lot….our plan
undoubtedly would have been foolproof! But then again, the movie
illustrated the proposition that “crime will always cost more than it

Today’s high temp=65 Lights out 12:35am

Awake: 6:59am Temp 54 Clear sky Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

Casual morning for us….we reminisce our trip to Seattle yesterday & how
nice it was to spend some time with our boys + Katie, and without the city
traffic hassle.
This morning we skip breakfast & have lunch @ the Chimacum Café just down
the street; Kathy a burger, me a fried oyster sandwich. Then we drive
North….1st stopping @ the Northwest Passage (nice name but it’s a thrift,
really, a junk shop) that Kathy gives the thumbs down on after 10 min of
perusing the joint & now we proceed directly to the Fort Worden State Park
again. This time, we spend 1.5 hrs going through the Puget Sound Coast
Artillery Museum. I am fascinated with the 8 inch, 10 inch & 12 inch
disappearing BIG guns & the massive fortification + emplacements that were
once here @ Fort Worden. This museum has the answers: the photos,
diagrams, smaller replicas of the big guns & details of the operations
that finally satisfy my curiosity. It was well worth our time.

Back to Port Townsend we go where I drop Kathy off @ another thrift shoppe
(the real thing) while I visit Radio Shack & order a special cable for our
Sprint phone & tour the Henry Hardware for some special wire. Then we
attend 5:30 mass @ St Mary Star of the Sea. Afterward, it’s pizza & beer @
the Water Front Pizza. It was good, featured a 150 yr old sourdough crust
recipe, but it’s not the Moose’s Tooth. The search continues!

Mid evening: Watch video from the clubhouse library: “Iris.” The brilliant
mind of English writer Iris Murdoch reduced to rubble by Alzheimer disease
is not an easy film to watch.

High temp today-low 80’s Lights out: 11:35pm

Awake: 6:15am Temp 52 Clear sky Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

I do a mid-morning e-mail check….write Rosie the Realtor in Anchorage &
call off the condo hunt for downtown. We are re-thinking our future plans
& just want to be casual about it for now.
Call Nick & confirm our ferry arrival time in downtown Seattle.

Leave our campground @ 3:12pm & drive to Bainbridge Island (40miles).
Traffic was backed up for miles just a measly 4 miles from the ferry, so
we followed some of the crowd on a back road maneuver to by-pass that
roadblock arriving @ the ferry parking lot @ 4:30 for the scheduled 4:35
departure. We were walk on’s; no charge eastbound which made it easy to
board. Turns out, the ferry departed @ 4:45 so we had a few minutes to
spare anyway.

The Washington State ferries are very accommodating & comfortable for
passengers: Different seating areas, inside, outside, topside, lower floor
etc. Our crossing took 30 min arriving @ 5:15 & was extremely smooth. We
sit near the dock & watch for Nick or wait for a phone call. 15 min later,
I call him & he reports he is walking toward our dock alongside the
Alaskan by-way. As we walk in his direction to meet him, “surprise!” Not
only Nick, but also Zack & Katie! We thought Z & K were busy today touring
the city. The boys look healthy & happy…Katie too. We agree to walk
around, find an Irish Pub & maybe quench our thirst. Maybe 20 min later,
Nick spots a tavern of Irish description which reads: 10 min left for
happy hour. The micro beer was good…Zach stuck with his wine & Katie went
for a vodka & cranberry. The meal menu however was “out of sorts” for this
crowd so down the street we go…looking for another less classy Irish pub
for dinner. The Owl & the Thistle is next. The beer: not so good; I gave
my Guinness back to the barmaid & drank Kathy’s half & half Guinness &
Harp. She said her replacement beer (Mac & Jack) was good but I really
should have returned her ½ & ½ too. The Guinness was definitely the
troublemaker. Anyway, 3 of us had the Irish stew for dinner, which was
pretty good but the bowl wasn’t big enough. Zack had a rib eye steak &
Katie had the Fish & French fries. We enjoyed lots of good humored

We are very close to the ferry dock just across the street…so we say our
goodbyes for now to the boys & Katie…buy our tickets & make the 10:05pm
ferry for Bainbridge Island(30min)….& the 1 hr 10 min drive back to our
campground. It was a very comfortable, casual & reasonably priced way to
visit downtown Seattle for the evening. We’ll undoubtedly do this a few
more times during our Northwest visit. And it was a wonderful time spent
with our boys and Katie. Arrive in the bus @ 11:45pm.

Today’s high temp-low 80’s Lights out: 12:51am

Awake: 6:30am Temp 47 Clear sky Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

Casual morning for both of us. Early afternoon, drive the Suzuki to Port
Townsend (10min) & walk up and down both sides of their main business
street (Water St.), casually going into a few stores out of curiosity. We
spent the most time in an old hardware store, which still has items on its
shelves for sale from the 50’s & 60’s….with updated prices!

Next we visit the historic Victorian Palace Hotel just a few yards from
the hardware store; we ask the hotel clerk where we might get a good
hamburger in town? She mentions 3 places: The Nifty-Fifties cafe across
the street, the Blue Moose down the road about a mile & another place I
can’t remember. When she said the Blue Moose served an organic burger &
that was her favorite, we focused on the healthy comment & hopped in our
Suzuki in search of that Blue Moose Café. In trying to find the Blue
Moose, we stopped @ a building in the industrial area of Port Townsend for
further directions. The front part of the building was being renovated so
I went around to the back…when I discovered the place was a micro-brewery
& the guy I talked with said they do give complimentary samples, I
couldn’t get Kathy out of the car fast enough to check this place out.

About two hrs later & a few sample brews, we had forgotten about lunch &
the Blue Moose. The lady bar-keeper hinted that the Blue Moose does not
serve any hamburgers after 2:00pm. Oops, forget the lunch; we’ll have a
bowl of peanuts instead! The Port Townsend Brewing Co. is unique. A very
small bar & tasting room with a cliental of interesting locals; the
colorful locals kept us glued to our bar stools with genuine
entertainment. We could have easily stayed for a few more hrs.

Next, we find the Fort Worden State Park, northeast of Town. After parking
the Suzuki, we do a little walking & hiking to explore the areas of the
BIG gun emplacements. These 12 huge disappearing guns were the main harbor
defenses of Puget Sound as they existed & functioned from the late 1880’s
to the end of WWII. During those early times, Port Townsend was the Port
of Entry for Puget Sound so every ship entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca
was identified & scrutinized carefully.

Next, we drive around the campground area close to the beach of Admiralty
Inlet where many RV’s are parked & families are enjoying a picnic & the
beautiful weather. Last month, our friends from Alaska, Mark & Marcia had
camped here in their RV.

Now we are hungry so it’s back to town & a stop @ the Pizza Factory for
Pizza & Beer before returning to the bus @ 8:05pm. It sure wasn't the
“Moose’s Tooth!”

The day was warm, I didn’t leave an air conditioner on in the bus, & now
it’s too warm to hang out inside, so we take a 20 min walk around the park
while the bus cools. I also do some easy house cleaning of the Aqua Hot
chrome doors.

Call our son Nick in Seattle & make plans for a rendezvous in Seattle
tomorrow afternoon.

Watch a video movie from the clubhouse library: “Quick Change,” staring
Bill Murray. An amusing but frustrating flick to watch!

Today’s high temp=79 Lights out: 11:55pm

Awake: 7:57am Temp 51 Clear sky Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

After a somewhat casual morning, I continue washing our bus, now the front
section where we have a graveyard of dead bug goo. It would be worse
though save for the heavy rains during our travels. I spend about 3 hrs on
this area even with Kathy helping after she does a load of laundry, makes
spaghetti sauce & a dozen of her healthy muffins.
Park manager Ed visits for approx 30 min & gives me a worthy excuse for a
nice break.

6:50pm Dinner: Italian Sausage from Conzatti’s on Scalp Ave, Johnstown,
PA., purchased October 2, 2004. + spaghetti sauce, pasta, mixed salad &
garlic toast.

Mid evening: during my “wash the dishes” time, we watch a video from the
clubhouse library: “Oprah-Make the Connection.” A film on how Oprah fought
her weight gain & losses for 20 yrs, started exercising daily, eating
right & finally lost a bunch of pounds & has kept it off.

Late evening: Watch another video from the clubhouse library: “I.Q.” with
Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins & Walter Matthau. A cute story!

Today’s high temp=70 Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:20am Temp 51 Partly sunny Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

Leave @ 10:05am driving the Suzuki to the town of Sequim (25 min) to visit
Nancy & Joe. They have a winter home in east Mesa, AZ & are now building a
summer home in Sequim. They bought their 5 acre tract in 1989 with the
intention of someday building a retirement home & now it’s happening. In 3
weeks time, the septic system is finished & approved + the electrical
cable in the ditch is ready for inspection. They have witched their well
placement and it is to be dug this week or next. They also purchased a
pre-owned 5th wheel trailer to live in while their home is being built.

We are invited into their 5th wheel trailer to view & discuss their house
plans & the recent changes they’re making. It’s a nice open floor plan
with a view across a 20 acre field leading to a view of the Straits of
Juan de Fuca and of Mt. Baker. Joe has a lot of house building experience
& knows how to get things done within the construction business.

We are invited by them to a neighbor’s home for lunch….good friends of Joe
& Nancy, Winky & Torgy. W & T have lived in this neighborhood for 15 yrs &
love it. These guys are no spring chickens; Winky is 88, Torgy is 85 & do
they get around! Winky was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and
still dances thru life. Torgy puts many miles on his pedal bike. After a
delicious lunch of soup & bread from Safeway and fresh fruit, we get a
tour of their open floor plan home, incl. Winky’s “to die for” closet.

We leave @ 2:45pm to do some grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & Costco + other
stuff @ Home Depot. On the road out of town as we are parking @ a tourist
information center, Mark calls from Anchorage for an update on our travels
& I ask him for an update on his travels. Mark & his wife Marcia spent the
last 3 months RVing in CA, OR & WA & we tried for a rendezvous like we had
last yr but it just didn’t materialize. Kathy loads up with local maps &
things to see & do in the area while I talk with Mark for about 20 min.
Then my sister Mary Jo calls from Lodi, CA regarding her photo search she
was doing for our son Nick. We are back in the bus @ 7:20pm.

8:15 Dinner: Leftover Chicken parmesan, cauliflower, mixed salad & garlic

Late evening: Watch video from the clubhouse library: “What Lies Beneath.”
A 1st class thriller with Harrison Ford & Michelle Pfeiffer. No way could
Kathy nap during this cliff hanger!

High temp today=65 Lights out: 12:23am

Awake: 6:12am Temp 44 Clear sky Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

The last time our motor home was washed was March 22 @ the Newell factory.
Since that time, we would carefully plan our highway trips to avoid rainy
weather�trying to keep our home clean; it wasn�t easy.

As a matter of fact, after we left the factory in Oklahoma, we traveled to
Amarillo, TX; Barnardo & Socorro N.M; Willcox & Yuma AZ; Lakeside, San
Diego & Newberry Springs, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Hurricane, Kanarraville &
Green River, Utah; Grand Junction, CO; Sandy & Nampa UT, without driving
in anything more than a drizzle. That was some 3,251 miles. It was those
4 days in Sandy, Utah that kept us inside watching the weather channel
that started us thinking: How much longer can we keep this dry road travel
program enforced & still move about freely?

Nampa, Idaho was the turning point�.several weather fronts were forecasted
to move into the Northwest & then move eastward but�we wanted to keep
traveling regardless & we did. The last 2 hrs en route to Orofino, Idaho
cured us�..we were hammered-messy-dirty, the works, but we were going
places. Then traveling through Tacoma on Friday, we were being washed
again with dirty water.

Why am I mentioning all of this? Because today we are starting all over
again�..we are house cleaning. While Kathy washes the floor, walls &
ceiling inside, I start on our roof, spraying soap, using the brush
vigorously, then rinsing. Then we both work together on the passenger side
& rear of the coach. We put a conservative 5 hrs of almost steady cleaning
in today & we are just a little over � finished. Hey, the house is big!

6:35 Dinner: Tuna steak with broccoli & red peppers, brown rice + a mixed

Kathy calls Nancy in Sequim�..tomorrow we will inspect Nancy & Joe�s home
building progress.

Mid evening: Watch video movie from the clubhouse: �E.T.� I had never seen
it & Kathy didn�t mind watching it again.

High temp today=64 Lights out: 11:17pm

Awake: 5:25am Temp 48 Sunny & windy Overnight @ Chimacum, WA

Kathy calls Katrina in Anchorage…leaves a msg.
I call my sister Mary Jo & her husband Ed in Lodi, CA. We talk for about
20 min. They are doing fine which is always nice to hear.
Call my cousin Florentz in PA. His wife Anna is using crutches for two
weeks due to a sprained ankle…..otherwise, they are doing well.
Kathy calls her friend Jodi in Memphis, TN. It’s always nice to get
caught up on each other’s family and share a few laughs. Good friends are
a real blessing! During their chatter time, I walk over to the e-mail room
& check our e-mail.

We walk the campground for 45 min of exercise....with the wind blowing our
hair wildly about!

7:05 Dinner: T-bone steak, cauliflower with white stilton cheese and
apricot, baked potato & a fresh salad.

Mid evening: Watch movie using our antenna: “Hoffa” with Jack Nicholson.
An interesting story with a surprise ending that shocked us both.

High temp today=61 Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake: 6:21am Temp 46 Cloudy & rain Elevation 134 ft Overnight @
Chimacum, WA

@ 10:30am, T.K. calls from Nampa, Idaho. He wants to know where we’ve been
since we left Nampa & where are we now? After I give him a brief report,
he tells me that another big rig pulled into our ole parking spot with a
retired FDX pilot sign on the back…its Wil & his wife. Wil was Chief pilot
@ FDX for a number of yrs & a really good guy. I talk with Wil for about
12 min…then T.K.’s phone begins losing power. Wil & his wife have been
full time RVers for about 9 yrs now. We exchange cell phone #’s & hope to
rendezvous with them sometime & somewhere in the future.

While Kathy checks her e-mail in the e-mail room, I call my buddy Ray @
Ocean Park, WA. We have a good long chat about many things too numerous to
mention here.

We attend 5:30pm Mass @ St. Mary, Star of the Sea Church in Port Townsend.
Rev. Kurt Nagel gives a very profound homily which was extremely good &
kept me awake. Afterward, we do some light grocery shopping @ the FD-CO
store & Safeway, then back to the bus @ 7:45.

8:55 Dinner: Chicken parmesan, asparagus, a spinach & lettuce salad +
garlic toast.

Watch a video from the clubhouse library: “Through the Eyes of Forrest
Gump.” A behind the scenes story of how the movie “Forrest Gump” was made.
Quite interesting & Kathy thought so also.

High temp today=61 Lights out: 11:51pm

Awake: 5:32am Temp 44 High clouds Elevation 1958 ft Overnight
@ Cle Elum, WA

Weather on this side of the Washington Cascades looks good to me when I
leave the bedroom & enter the living room….so it will be an “on the road
again” day after Kathy wakes up & we’ve eaten our breakfast.

Leave the Whispering Pines RV Park @ 8:55am. We continue on I-90 to
Issaquah, then hwy 18 to I-5 to hwy 16, etc.

We don’t need fuel yet but we stop @ the Tacoma Flying J & top off our
tank with another 100 gallons anyway. As I am filling up our tank, the
dark clouds are…again looming overhead…then they let loose with off & on
rain to our destination.

Arrive @ the Evergreen Coho SKP Park in Chimacum, WA @ 1:15pm. It’s a nice
place & big rig friendly.

Today’s travel: 3+32 hrs 166.4 miles 20.63 gal 8.07 mpg 49.3 avg speed

After parking, we scrutinize the e-mail room, the club house that has a
kitchen, a rather large dining room with a raised stage, a library with a
large selection of books, audio books on tape & video tapes. Another room
has 2 pool tables, then there is the craft room, exercise room (old
equipment), & large showers. Wait…there’s more: Outside they have
horseshoe pits, a pickle ball court, a chipping green, & outdoor pavilion.
I think we’ll hang around here for awhile.

While I check our e-mail in the e-mail room, Kathy sorts through shelves
of video tapes & selects 6 movies for us to watch in our spare time.
Intermittent rain showers continue throughout the afternoon & evening so
we take individual umbrellas wherever we go.

7:40pm Dinner: Italian beef + gravy from Luke’s in Phoenix 14 Feb.…on
French bread with cooked sweet peppers & a spinach salad.

Late evening: Watch video movie from the clubhouse library: “Singles.” Not
good enough to keep Kathy’s interest.

High travel temp today= 64 Lights out: 11:16pm

Awake: 5:50am Temp 47 Mostly sunny Overnight @ Cheney, Washington

Nice looking weather for our travels today…except for the Southwest wind,
it’s a little blustery & will probably be a cornering headwind.
Tight turns on leaving the Klink’s Williams Lake Resort @ 10:30 but Kathy
walks ahead & watches closely as I maneuver toward the exit area. She had
to move a garbage can, otherwise we were fine. It’s a good time to leave
as this weekend they are expecting a full campground for the 1st day of
the fishing competition here @ Williams Lake.

Our destination today depends on “what’s happening.” As we roll along on
I-90 Westbound, Kathy makes her 1st call to Frank & Kay in Royal City….Kay
answers & tells us they are motoring in their Newell to a rally in Port
Angeles, WA as we speak. We were thinking we might pay them a short visit
en route today….but not now. Next, Kathy calls Nancy & Joe in Sequim,
WA…they are building a new house &, at the moment, the guys are trying to
dig out the foundation & the rain is being very competitive. Nancy reports
some heavy rain on the West side of the WA Cascades with reports of hail
in the Kirkland area. “That does it” I say, we’ll be finding a campground
on the East side of the Cascades for the night.

When we visited Joe & Nancy in East Mesa, AZ in February 05, we talked
about a rendezvous in Sequim late spring….now it looks like we can do it!

While I’m driving, I ask Kathy to search for a reasonable campground just
east of the Cascade Mountains. This takes awhile as she has 4 books to
peruse. Then we discuss our options & she makes another call to our
potential destination for the night. The campground owner suggests that we
make a reservation if we want a pull thru site which we do & she does.

At the next rest stop, we take a quick pause where I reprogram the GPS for
the Cle Elum, WA campground. Maybe an hr later down the road, this semi
carrying a load of huge, heavy looking sliced boulders slowly overtakes us
on a slight downhill grade. He couldn’t have been more than 200 ft ahead
of us in the left lane when, suddenly, one of his left rear trailer tires
literally blew apart, making a loud explosive noise…chunks & pieces of
shredded tire flying everywhere. I swerved, braked & somehow managed to
avoid running over any huge chunks of his debris. He was slowing down &
moving into our lane as I was eagerly getting into the left lane & ahead
of his unit since his tire was still tossing pieces of rubber. It got our
undivided attention as we had not seen anything like this happen so close

Looking ahead, we can easily see the dark clouds looming over the
Cascades….then a few drops of rain, then a steady drizzle. We did make it
to our campground without a fresh shower so those dark clouds obviously
moved further north.

As we drive into the Whispering Pines RV Park @ 2:50pm in Cle Elum, WA.,
there is a motor home already parked in the check-in lane. Turns out those
people only want a pull thru for the night but we had reserved the only
one left. Good thing Kathy made the reservation. This campground is small
but very clean, neat, quite adequate, close to the Interstate & almost big
rig friendly. We wouldn’t hesitate staying here again.

Today’s travel: 4+10 hrs 180.5 miles 23.62 gal 7.64 mpg 50 avg speed

After parking & setting up, we take a walk for exercise along the Yakima
River (45 min). Toward the end of our walk, I call my cousin Andrea in
Indiana, PA….we talk for 20 min. Then we call Melissa for her 31st
birthday….hardly seems possible: she’s 31 already? She has Matthew in his
plastic pool outside in Anchorage as we talk. Gosh, it must be reasonably
warm up there.

7:10 Dinner: Leftover tuna casserole, asparagus in a cream sauce, fresh
spinach salad + toast.
Some cable TV watching late evening.

Today’s high travel temp=65 Lights out: 10:58pm

Awake: 5:02am Temp 46 Cloudy Overnight @ Cheney, Washington

Leave @ 9:30am driving the Suzuki for a tour of Spokane. We do a grid
pattern downtown looking over the city center. There is a lot of downtown
activity with name brand shopping, classic hotels, city parks, pedestrian
traffic etc. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the city + the
hustle-bustle of activity everywhere. At this time, there were many
downtown streets being torn up with heavy equipment working.

We do some light grocery shopping @ Costco & other shopping @ Home Depot
on the east side of town. In the parking lot, Kathy calls Melissa & leaves
a msg. Then I make a call to Floyd, a guy who helped keep our airplanes
flying for our small business in Vancouver, WA back during the late 60’s,
& early 70’s. He left the area in 1978 taking a better job with the FAA in
Spokane, WA. No one answers so I leave a msg.

Since we are in this town with extra time, we decide to find his home if
nothing else. Having his address is a start but our atlas doesn’t show the
detail on streets we could use. A quick stop @ a Shell station & a crude
map drawn by the attendant inside was the ticket. About 2 min before we
reach Floyd’s house, Melissa calls from Anchorage. She is excited & Kathy
is all ears about “the latest plans & happenings” up North. As I approach
a house with the same number as Floyd’s, there is someone in a car trying
to back out of that driveway so I kind of block that car in case it is
Floyd trying to make a clean get-a-way. Yes, it’s Floyd (better known as
Tex) & he’s looking good for his age (70). Tex & I chatter away for at
least 35 min while Kathy & Melissa do the same. Tex lost his wife, Flora,
2 yrs ago so is now traveling the USA visiting his children, friends,
museums & other attractions. He remains the devilish & somewhat tricky
individual that I remember him being some 25 yrs ago. Kathy completes her
talk with Melissa & joins our gabbing and reminiscing. I’m glad we were
able to find Tex @ home & do some catching up. He sure left a huge vacuum
in the aviation arena in Vancouver when he went to Spokane. We are back in
the bus @ 4:00pm.

Then we walk around the campground area for 30 min of exercise.

7:20 Dinner: Pork Chops, broccoli in mozzarella sauce, mashed yams, cooked
apples with balsamic vinegar & sugar snap peas.

Late evening: Watch antenna TV, PBS station: 25th yr anniversary of the
Mount Saint Helens eruption & its return to natural growth. Plus, the
asbestos story in Libby, Montana that started during the 50’s. Both
documentaries were eye openers, even for Kathy.

High temp today=? Lights out: 10:52pm

Awake: 5:50am Temp 51 Some clearing Overnight @ Orofino, Idaho

Before breakfast, I start doing my outside chores like “one more time”
cleaning the standing water from the top of our slide outs & draining our
black water tank. Would you believe that during these dreary moments, the
sun peeked out from behind the clouds, revealing some blue sky &
brightened our day. Only then do we fully realize just how beautiful this
area can be. Now we have a similar view as those famous people from the
Lewis & Clark expedition had during their camping time when exploring
through here. Story has it that the actual trees that were used for the
dugouts were cut from the location where Canoe Camp RV is now located. How
about that!? Around here, later this summer, they will be celebrating 100
yrs of the Lewis & Clark Trail…expecting an even larger crowd than the
usual summer tripling of its population.

We like the water from this campground so I switch on the auto fill button
to top off our pure water tank (161 gallons). The water we have left in
our pure tank is from the campground in Bernardo, New Mexico which we
visited on March 28. The filling takes maybe 10 min but…when I push the
switch to stop the process, nothing changes & our pure water tank now
spits water overboard under the coach’s belly. The electromechanical
whatever gismo must have failed & I am not going to take time for a fix
right now. With that gismo failed, any water coming into our system will
1st go to the pure water tank & overflow…when we draw water from our pure
water tank with the marine pump, the pump runs continuously so it
definitely needs to be rectified soon. When we get a reasonable cell phone
signal, I’ll give the Newell guys a call for ideas.

Leave the Orofino Canoe Campground @ 9:30am with clearing skies….this is
more to our liking. Just as we cross over the Clearwater River Bridge,
unknown to us, Jim & Betty are doing their 3-4 mile daily walk & see us
motoring down the highway. As we approach Lewiston, I ask Kathy to check &
see if we have cell phone coverage & if we do, to call Jim & Betty to
thank them for their hospitality & touring + to double check on the better
hwy to take up to Spokane, WA., hwy 195 or hwy 95? We have a good signal &
she rings for Jim & Betty. Betty responds “we just saw you on the highway
heading toward Lewiston.” Kathy & Betty talk for about 10 min & hwy 195 is
the way to go.

En route, we stop @ a small rest stop to make a few cell phone calls. 1st
of all, the campground we had selected in Spokane as our next destination,
highly recommends that we don’t even think about it. OK! Our big rig is
too big. So Kathy calls our 2nd choice campground, the person answering
the phone kind of discourages our traveling through Spokane in our motor
home because of so much road construction. Hmmmm, so now it’s down to our
3rd selection, a quiet & serene spot in the country that may be a little
too far from town….but they would be happy to accommodate us today. I
program the GPS for that campground, then call Tommy @ Newell & tell him
of our new glitch. He advises that I take a heavy duty screwdriver & give
the water solenoid a good rap to loosen up the stuck valve. Sounds good to

As we are driving through the town of Cheney, still 19 miles from our
destination, Melissa calls: The University of Indiana in PA wants to
interview Kevin sometime next week for a computer position. This is an
exciting announcement for them & for us. They talk for as long as our cell
signals hold out….maybe 15 min…then we are surrounded by tall trees. We’ll
try & call her later.

Arrive @ the Klink’s Williams Lake Resort, about 19 miles Southeast of
Cheney, WA. @ 1:50pm. This place is very nice, it’s well laid out with
shade trees, a marina, an active & somewhat upscale restaurant & the lake
with great fishing opportunities. It was by no means a big rig friendly
campground, however, but with Kathy’s guidance, we do fine.

Today’s travel: 3+46 hrs 166.3 miles 22.5 gal 7.39 mpg 46.8 avg speed

I wasted no time after parking to get to work on that so-called, stuck
solenoid. With my biggest screwdriver, I rapped & rapped to no avail. With
threatening dark clouds above & the Newell service folks home for the day
in Oklahoma, I had to think of something else. Out comes some of my
tools…& I take the bottom section of this water diverter apart. It turns
out to have a diaphragm with an electrically powered plunger & that
diaphragm has a weep hole which I could see was plugged up. Another hmmmm,
so I cleaned off the debris which opened the weep hole, reassembled the
unit & viola! It works again. Whew!
Tomorrow I’ll call Tommy @ Newell & give him a head’s up on the rest of
the story. During my fixing time, Kathy took the Suzuki & drove to the
higher elevations nearby to find some cell phone signals so she could talk
more with Melissa but …nothing.

We take a 30 min walk around the campground for exercise.

6:30 Dinner: Leftover Tuna casserole, cauliflower & toast.

Evening time: Watch PBS using antenna: “Visiting Beijing.” It was a well
done tour of the highlights of Beijing which we enjoyed seeing since we’ve
been there & saw many of the sights they were covering.

High travel temp=64 Lights out: 10:58pm

Awake: 6:02am Temp 56 Low clouds Elevation 1027 ft. Overnight@
Orofino, Idaho

We have no cell phone coverage in this canyon across the road from the
Clearwater River, plus the campground office is unattended and on the
honor system during the week. When I talked with Jim yesterday, we agreed
to make contact mid morning & arrange a time for a visit today. They live
near the town of Juliaetta so I figure why not drive up there & give Jim &
Betty a call… turns out its 33 miles & still we have no cell phone
coverage. Ok, so we stop in town, park & walk to the Pizza Bank store (not
open until 4:00pm), the Palace Hotel (closed) & another building, a bar
that hadn’t opened yet. Hmmm, next we try the Shell station down the
street. They had a minor fire in their building this morning & their land
line phone system was shut down. Yikes! I try the post office & finally
am able to use the lady’s cell phone. Jim’s been waiting for our call,
gives directions to where they live & says he’ll be standing by the road
to steer us in.

We met Jim & Betty in the middle of March @ the Newell factory when they
were waiting to pickup their 1st Newell motor home. It was an exciting
time for them & we were able to share some of their anticipation &
frustration also. Now, 2 months later, they have their high tech beautiful
machine parked just 30 ft from their home in its own garage. Jim & I waste
no time in comparing technical notes about our rigs while Betty gives
Kathy a good tour of their home. These people live @ the base of a steep
mountain on 200 acres. What an awesome view when sitting in the great room
looking up toward nature’s massive creation. We spend the next hour
scrutinizing the inside of their motor home from bow to stern. What a

Then Jim & Betty tour us around some of their property; we see the nearby
homes of one of their daughter’s & one of their son’s + the family
airstrip where Jim’s father kept his aircraft during the ole days. Next we
tour some highlights in Lewiston, Idaho: the new campground overlooking
the Clearwater River only 500 ft from a Costco (where we would have camped
if we had known about this); the state park, Hell’s Gate, also over-
looking the Clearwater River just down the road from Costco; and a drive
past Jim & his partner’s former business buildings closer to downtown. We
stop @ Effies on Main Street, Jim’s favorite burger spot, for a late lunch
of the biggest hamburger we have ever eaten & the best in a long time. It
was literally the size of a dinner plate, advertised as 1#; so big that
Kathy & I HAD to split it. Jim and Betty have an evening commitment so
it’s back to their home where we say our goodbyes. Then back to our canyon
hangout for a few minutes before driving further into the old town of
Orofino which appears to be very much alive & well. They must be doing
something right as there is a new & larger hotel being built downtown as
well as a new & larger campground.

No dinner for us tonight….the BIG burger was plenty enough. We watch a
cable movie: “Waters Edge” … A real thriller that almost kept Kathy awake.

Today’s high temp=63 Lights out: 11:13pm

Awake: 5:57am Temp 59 Light rain Overnight @ Nampa, Idaho

It was a tossup this morning whether we should stay here in Nampa for a
few days to see the sights in the rain or travel North by Northwest in the
rain. We let fate make our decision by calling Jim & Betty in Juliaetta,
Idaho. If they are home & would like a couple of gypsies to pay them a
visit, then we are “on the road again!” If not, then we hang out here in
Nampa for a few more days. They are home & tell us to “come on up!”

I spend a few extra minutes talking with T.K. & his wife who I really
enjoyed meeting. Those two people are very knowledgeable & loaded with
decades of experience in RVing. We exchange phone #’s & hope to meet with
them again soon.

Once more, I clean our slide out tops of water, mostly from this morning’s
Leave the Garrity RV Park in Nampa @ 10:50am….a late start for us in a
way….then a fuel stop @ Flying J & we are “on the road again.”

Kathy talks with our destination campground owner en route & learns that
our camping site will be # 18 & no one will be @ the office when we

Northern Idaho is quite different from its Southern counterpart. Here we
have higher mountains, deeper canyons & narrower valleys. We do a lot of
mountain climbing today with curvy roads & single lane highways. Amazingly
enough, we skirt the rainy weather for at least 2 hrs, then this big dark
cloud looms before us & what can we do….but “keep on trucking.” For the
next 2 hrs we’re in a steady rain, hard @ times; in single lane traffic &
following the Clearwater River with all its twists & turns to our
destination: Orofino.

Arrive @ the Canoe Camp RV Park in Orofino, Idaho @ 6:55pm in a heavy
downpour. Now I understand why it's called: Canoe Camp!
Luckily, the campground owner warned us that when the single lane road
turns into a four lane hwy, the campground entry is only about 200 ft
ahead. We would have easily missed it had she not given us a heads up.
Then we spotted a pole with something attached: it was a “welcome Monte”
sign @ site # 18. A nice touch!

Neither of us wants to go outside…but then tough girl Kathy volunteered &
finally my chivalry kicks in. Using umbrellas, we simply plug into our 50
amps utility + the cable TV & go back inside for the night.

Today’s travel: 6+47 hrs 305.1 miles 38.13 gal 8.0 mpg 48.6 avg speed

8:30 Dinner: Hamburger with caramelized onions & mushrooms + a fresh salad.

We watch a little Law & Order on cable… & that’s it.

Today’s high temp=67 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 7:29am Temp 55 Cloudy Elevation 2535 Ft Overnight @ Nampa, Idaho

Walk to the campground office to use their modem but….msn would not give
me a local number to connect for either Nampa or Boise. I spend way too
much time trying & finally give up.

@ 12:30pm we walk across the street to the Warhawk Museum, pay our $8.00
each & join the crowd for the air show. There are 7 WWII war birds on
static display & will fly 2 & 3 times during the afternoon, giving rides
for a mere $600.00 each: 2 Curtis P-40’s; a Hawker Sea Fury made in
Australia; a T-28; A Sky Raider & Avenger (both with folding wings) & an
AT-6…..all beautifully restored to like new or better than new condition.
We spend 3.5 hrs watching these 65 + yr old planes fly around the area &
talking hangar talk with different interested fans. We also go through the
Warhawk Museum scrutinizing all the WWII memorabilia which seems to be an
extremely vast collection for the size of this museum.

Then we attend 5:00pm Mass @ St. Paul church (15 min away)… back to our
bus @ 6:30. Our neighbor T.K. makes a cell phone call to his buddy in
Kansas & we all talk about the Sprint data setup for our cell phones.

Later, Kathy & I sit outside in the evening shade, snack on sun dried
tomatoes with parmesan cheese, mixed nuts & Triscuits + a little wine.
That was our dinner & we are worn out from all the excitement of the air

High temp today=76 Lights out: 12:27am

Awake: 5:10am Temp 44 Clear sky Overnight @ Sandy, Utah

Before breakfast, I get out our telescoping ladder & clean the standing
water off our slide out tops….which had quite an accumulation from the

Leave the Quail Run RV Park @ 8:35am. A beautiful travel day with a blue
sky as far as the eye can see. I-15 & I-84 are mostly smooth through the
valleys of Utah & Idaho with very little mountain climbing.

Arrive @ the Garrity RV Park @ 3:15pm. This park is small but still BIG
rig friendly.

Today’s travel: 6+31 hrs 363.4 miles 35.6 gal 10.2 mpg 56.6
avg speed

After parking in our site, I hear powerful engine noise & it’s not from a
truck, bus or train. A few minutes later, I spot a pair of Curtis P-40
WWII war birds flying around the local area. What’s going on? Later we
find out we are parked only a stone’s throw away from an airport & a WWII
Warhawk Museum + tomorrow they are having an air show. Hot diggity!

Meanwhile, I talk Kathy into walking over to the airport area & checking
this wonderful ruckus (she was as curious as I). We walk for 1.25 hrs &
we’ll call it exercise. Then we settle in our lawn chairs under our awning
& relax for an hr before dinner.

Our near neighbor, T.K. (Thomas Keye) & his wife Diana parked their 5th
wheel trailer just next to us shortly before we went for our curiosity
walk. When we return T.K. visits & we exchange our gypsy stories. They
live in Idaho & are quite knowledgeable about the area. He gives us maps &
ideas of things to do during our stay here.

7:45pm Dinner: Leftover meatloaf & a fresh mixed salad.

Late evening: Watch movie on cable: “The Day of the Evil Gun” with Glen
Ford. Not too shabby for a cowboy movie.

High temp today=74 Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 6:07am Temp 43 Some clouds Overnight @ Sandy, Utah

I call ahead & make reservations for a camping site in Nampa, Idaho for
Zack calls: He is sick & thinks it might be food poisoning. He wants to
talk to his Mommy, the nurse.
Call Dick in Goodyear, AZ. Just a “how goes it” conversation. They are in
the process of making breakfast so we only cover the highlights.

Start driving the Suzuki toward the Kennecott Bingham Canyon mine @
10:50am., a 35 min trip & another 2200 ft higher in altitude. We side step
a little late season snow covering when walking into the visitors’ center
from the parking lot. This is the world’s largest man-made excavation…more
than ¾ of a mile deep & 2.5 miles wide. They have been producing copper
here since 1906. Looking down into the pit, the huge trucks that haul 320
tons of copper ore to the in-pit crusher look like mini-Tonka toys; the
tires on that truck cost 20,000 dollars each, are 8 ft tall & last approx
1 year.

We spend 2.5 hrs @ the visitors center; watching a movie first on the
mine’s early days, then today’s state-of-the art crushing, conveying,
grinding, flotation & filtration equipment that produces 99.9% pure
copper. There are many exhibits here, displays, artifacts & high powered
microscopes to fill our minds with mining knowledge. It was an excellent
educational experience.

We coast down the mountain, and then make a stop @ the Smith grocery store
where I find my Lindt Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa candy bars for ½ the
regular price. We buy a bunch which should last us a few months.

I had planned to do a little touring on State Street that leads to
downtown Salt Lake City….but then heavy rains returned & reduced our
visibility enough that we change our plans. I drop Kathy off @ the
“Savers” store while I visit the local Sprint cell phone store.

7:10 Dinner: Pork chops, fried noodles & brown rice, broccoli in cream
sauce, apple sauce, fresh mixed salad + toast.

Katrina calls: She’s accepted a teaching position in Denver, CO. She
discusses her moving & traveling plans for June & July. You think she was
busy before, just keep reading her journal in the days ahead….if she has
time to write it.

No movie tonight. We are tired! Just listening to Katrina’s “to do list”
wore us out!

High temp today=55 Lights out: 11:10pm

Awake: 3:00am…..7:30am Temp 39 Heavy rain overnight @ Sandy, Utah

Rain pelting on our roof wakes me during the night. I wander into the
living room & check outside with a flashlight. I thought it might be hail
but it’s all liquid. It takes me over an hr to get back to sleep.

Again, the waves of heavy rain were off & on throughout the day.

In between the heavy rain, I clean & dry off our 2 phone connections and,
voila, the system works ok again.

We both exercise in our coach using resistance tubing (bungee cords).
Mid afternoon, we start walking the campground for exercise & get chased
back to the bus by heavy rain within 15 min.

6:45pm Dinner: Turkey slices with mashed golden potatoes & gravy, sautéed
zucchini, spinach salad + garlic toast.

Mid evening: watch movie on cable: “Joe Somebody” with Tim Allen. We
thought it was a good flick & funny @ times.

Today’s high temp=50 Lights out: 12:00 midnight

Awake: 6:33 Temp 45 Wind & rain Elevation 4460 ft Overnight @ Sandy, Utah

A lot of rain fell today but it’s great to be parked in a nice campground
while it’s happening. Kathy watches her morning TV programs while I spend
some time on our computer. This campground has…instant on phones @ each
site which allows local, 800#’s, calling card calls & modem hookup. We
take advantage of this convenience when we have it.

@ 3:00pm the rain takes a breather & a shopping we will go to a Target &
Costco, 10 min away. By the time we check out with groceries, the heavy
rain returns & our umbrella is still in the Suzuki. Back to the bus @

7:10 Dinner: Kathy’s special meatloaf with baked potato, beef gravy,
asparagus in Boursin cheese sauce & Romaine lettuce mixed salad.

Shortly after dinner, we discover our phone line is dead. With all the
heavy rain, I suspect moisture is the culprit. I’ll check the connections

Mid evening: Watch movie on cable: “Oceans Eleven” with the Rat Pack; a
1960 film which we both enjoyed.

High temp today=55 Lights out: 11:10pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 51 Mostly clear Overnight@ Grand Junction, CO

Today we travel. We’ve been parked here @ the big J campground for 9 days
under the shade of some large trees that spit off a sap residue. When I
climb my telescoping ladder to check our slide tops, I find a mess: twigs,
leaves & a residue of this sap stuff with dust & dirt. When our slides are
retracted for travel, this mess would be in our bedroom & living room if I
don’t clean it off. It takes over an hr to clean all 4 slide tops this
morning. During this time, Tom drops by to give us a pan of homemade
brownies to help keep us “healthy” during our travels & to fatten us up a
little more. It’s been a lot of fun hanging out with Tom &Marge & some of
their friends. You can’t find two better people; they’ve raised their
children right with lots of love & will do just about anything for you.

Because this campground is not really BIG RIG friendly, we ask the
(campground owner) to ask a lady to move her car (that shouldn’t be parked
in the site it’s in) so it’s easier for us to maneuver our bus. It is

Then I make a cell phone call to check a possible campground near Salt
Lake City for availability, local weather forecast, etc. She warns us of
an approaching storm from the West with high winds & heavy rain later
today. We do not make a reservation.

We say goodbye to Curtis & Ana & leave the Big J campground @ 10:02am.

To begin with, it’s a beautiful travel day with a slight cornering
headwind on I-10 Westbound. Then as we get onto hwy 6 just west of Green
River, we meet up with construction, single lane traffic & a flagman who
stops us twice. Passing through the towns of Price (a fairly typical
Mormon community until the railroad came thru and coal mining replaced
ranching and farming) & Helper, Kathy reads aloud about the interesting
museums they have relating to the prehistoric times and early days of coal
mining; the CEU Prehistoric Museum, Western Mining and Railroad Museum,
Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, etc., something to keep in mind next time
we travel through this area.

The view as we’re climbing up to the Soldier Summit @ some 7200 ft is
breath taking; deep, yawning canyons, deserts, fascinating rock formations
& big rock walls. Then as we descend down to some 4000 ft into the Salt
Lake basin, we can clearly see the approaching storm clouds coming in from
the West.

Arrive @ the Quail Run RV Park in Sandy, Utah @ 3:26pm.

Today’s travel: 5+34 hrs 273.4 miles 32.5 gal 8.44 mpg 52.5
avg speed

The wind is howling as we park our bus & hook up our life support systems.
I get the ladder out & trim off a few nearby branches that were hitting
our coach with the wind gusts. Once inside, we breathe a sign of relief
that we are parked in a comfortable campground with good utilities.

Call my sister Corinne in Lilly, PA. She sounds like she is back to being
herself & that’s wonderful news for all of us.

7:50pm Dinner: Tuna steak, broccoli with Boursin cheese, fried noodles &
brown rice + a spinach salad. During our dinner, the winds get even
stronger & the heavy rain arrives.

Late evening: We watch the Travel channel on cable: “Unique Garages.”
Kathy didn’t pay very close attention to the detail of these masterpieces
for some reason. What she saw, she found quite interesting as were the
ones she didn’t see!

High temp while traveling=74 Lights out: 11:05

Awake: 6:02am Temp 46 Clear Overnight @ Grand Junction

Throughout the day, all of our kids call Kathy & wish her a “Happy
Mother’s Day.”

We invite Marge & Tom to our motorhome to begin celebrating Mother’s Day
with Kathy’s famous sourdough pancake breakfast with all the trimmings and
Kathy muffins. Because it’s Mother’s Day, I clean all the dishes with some
help from Fisher & Paykel.

Tom & Marge leave around noon & we will join them later.
While Kathy talks with Nick, I clean our front windshield, side windows &
mirrors + get some other things ready for traveling tomorrow.

@ 3:00pm we visit Marge & Tom @ their house where Tom & I sit outside in
their game & flower preserve to watch the birds. I had brought my bird
books along to clarify a few theories & Tom had his telescope set up for
closer viewing. One item of interest we did confirm from our bird books &
watching closely is that the Mourning Doves are able to drink water
through suction. They along with only a few other species are able to dip
their bill in the water & draw it into their throat. Other birds scoop up
water & point their bill skyward to let the water run down. It was a very
relaxing & informative afternoon.

7:00pm Dinner @ Marge & Tom’s place: Chicken & rice casserole, broccoli,
Rudi’s tomatoes, Charlotte’s fruit salad, raw veggie plate & ranch
dressing. We watch home movies of Kathy’s parents visit with Marge & Tom
and family at Easter, 1984 and of our family visit with them in the summer
of 1984; so interesting and nostalgic.

Back to the bus @ 10:45pm. No movie tonight as we discuss our next
destination & watch the weather channel. We are aware of a strong front
moving eastward from the Pacific coast with cooler temps & lots of rain.

High temp=71 Lights out: 12:18am

Awake: 6:17am Temp 47 Cloudy with drizzle Overnight @ Grand Junction

Kathy does 2 laundry loads this morning. During the drying process, the 50
amp circuit breaker on our campground site failed. I tried resetting the
breaker but only one leg would come back on. So, I turned on our auxiliary
generator to finish the job. Meanwhile I notify the campground owner
Curtis & with an assistant, they got right into replacing the old breaker
with a new one.

@ 2:40 pm we visit Marge & Tom again. We spend over an hr looking at the
wedding pictures of Melissa & Kevin. Then we watch more of their home
movies of their children during the 70’s. @ 4:00pm, we all attend mass @
the Immaculate Heart of Mary church.

6:50pm Dinner with friends of Marge & Tom: Myra & her husband, Rudi, &
Charlotte. Our dinner: hamburgers, brat worst, Rudi’s special diced
tomatoes, fresh veggie plate, chips, baked beans, sliced tomatoes,
lettuce, German potato salad, & Charlotte’s fruit salad. For dessert:
delicious, strawberry & coconut cream pies made by Myra + coffee. We talk
for hrs & leave after 10:30pm. It was a wonderful gathering with tasty
grub & great people.

Watch part of a cable movie: “Red River” with John Wayne, Montgomery Cliff
& Walter Brennan. I haven’t been a John Wayne fan ever but this movie had
my undivided attention….my mate however, began trying to distract me with
a motor noise of some sort, so I decided I’d watch the rest of this movie
some other time.

High temp=71 Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:18am Temp 57 Partly cloudy Overnight @ Grand Junction, CO

Before breakfast, Kathy & I walk (1hr 5 min) part of the Old Spanish and
Gunnison River Trails for exercise, which included some elevation gain &
decent. We had good phone reception at the hilltop so we called the Foote
household to wish Melissa and Kevin a happy 5th wedding anniv.

We leave @ 12:15pm driving the Suzuki Northeast bound on Interstate 70 to
the town of Parachute, CO. This town originated during the early 70’s when
Shell Oil Company decided to develop oil from shale rock. Many homes were
built in anticipation of workers & their families moving into the area.
When Shell Oil canceled the operation, Parachute became a ghost town
overnight. Sometime during those ghost town yrs, Orley & Thea drove around
looking for property & bought a small house on 20 acres. Parachute slowly
recovered & became a successful senior retirement community.

Through the yrs, Orley & Thea developed a living tree farm that they
attended to during the summer months as a hobby. Orley is now retired &
just recently demolished that small house, poured a new concrete basement
& with the help of nearby neighbors, framed, sided, shingled, wired,
plumbed & added heating to a new structure of 4000 sq ft. Orley & Thea
toured us thru all the rooms & basement. The workmanship is 1st class.
Before the small house was demolished, Orley built a large woodworking
shop so he can make all his own cabinets, drawers, etc. I had no idea
Orley was so talented. This is his 1st home building experience. Maybe he
himself didn’t realize he had so much talent.

On his 20 acres, 3 natural gas wells were discovered, so now they receive
a monthly check for that as well as free gas to heat their home. We agree
to visit them in the future to see the finished project. I’ve known Orley
for over 30 yrs. They are good people.

8:15 Dinner: Leftover fried chicken

Late evening: Eat popcorn & watch movie on cable: “ Ship of Fools.” A
rather sad movie I thought.

Today’s high temp=73 Lights out: 11:01pm

Awake: 7:02am Temp 51 Cloudy Overnight @ Grand Junction, CO

We take a 50 min walk for exercise through the campground & on some of the
Old Spanish Trail that runs through the Grand Junction area.

Melissa gives us a quick call to alert us that our mail should arrive

Call Orlie in Parachute, CO to confirm a visit with him tomorrow.

Take the Dell computer to the campground laundry room to check e-mail.

Visit Tom & Marge @ 12:40pm. Tom & I drive over to his Credit Union where,
with his influence, I cash a few checks.

When we return to Tom’s house, a friend of theirs, Kay, visits & we sit in
the kitchen & talk for over an hr. Some interesting & completely out of my
league conversation ensues about “hair” that is difficult for me to

@5:15pm the four of us ride to the restaurant: Olive Garden (12 min) for
dinner. Kathy & I share an eggplant parmesan plate while Tom has his
favorite, lasagna & Marge has her favorite, chicken parmesan. Tom and
Marge have lived in GJ for 40 years, both have taught school, Tom for 37
years and Marge a few less, and both have been active in their church and
children’s schools, so it doesn’t take long before they are greeting and
being greeted by people they know. This happens wherever they go, of

After dinner we go back to Tom & Marge’s house where they look through one
of our two photo albums from the yr 2004. A lot of discussion takes place
during the flipping of these photo pages.

Then we watch part of a video that was professionally made for their son
John & his wife Marsha of their childhood, meeting, and wedding; a very
nice keepsake. At my insistence, we then watch some of their 70’s home
movies, which were transferred from super 8mm to video, of their children.
Going back in time is always an interesting thing for us to see. Back to
our bus @ 9:55pm.

We watch ½ of the movie on cable: “Viridiana.” T’was a pity we missed the
1st half.

High temp today=73 Lights out: 11:30pm

Wednesday 4th May 2005

Awake: 6:30am Temp 47 Clear Overnight @ Grand Junction, CO

We walk the campground 30 min for exercise. Then I take our Dell computer
to the campground laundry room where they have a land line modem & check
our e-mail.

Drive over to Tom & Marge’s home @ 12:20pm for lunch. Tom went to the
store and re-supplied the lunchmeat and Triscuits so we eat a similar
lunch spread as we had on Tuesday, minus the salami, which Tom didn’t know
was all gone. Tom has been arranging lunch as Marge has allergies.

Today Tom & Marge are taking us on a tour of some of the 13 vineyards in
the Grand Junction area. 1st though, we move some autos...I back our
Suzuki out of their driveway, Marge backs their Toyota truck out of their
driveway onto the street & parks it temporarily while Tom gets the Toyota
Camry out of their garage & parks it onto the street. Then Tom re-parks
the Toyota truck back onto the driveway & I re-park our Suzuki back onto
their driveway. Soon we are cruising quietly & smoothly in the Camry on
I-70 alongside the famous, Majestic Bookcliff Mountains to the small town
of Palisade (30 min drive) & stop @ the St. Kathryn Cellars tasting room.
We spend about 40 min looking around & tasting their wines but find that
they are much too dry for us. Next to the Plum Creek Cellars just down the
street about 5 min away, where again we taste their wines & continue
finding them a little too dry for all of us. I will say both of these
tasting rooms were quite new, very nice & 1st class. Then we continue our
drive & climb in elevation onto a plateau to the Carlson Vineyards. Their
tasting room was a little crude, well used, but some of us did find a red
wine that we enjoyed very much here…unfortunately, that wine called,
Hungry Cat, was not yet available for sale. And then we realize we have
had enough wine touring for today. Back to Tom & Marge’s home, switch the
automobiles to their respective positions, and then more relaxing moments
in their backyard game preserve.

7:15 Dinner@ Marge & Tom’s gourmet restaurant: Grilled pork chops, baked
potatoes, green bean casserole & cucumber salad, a very good meal.
Afterwards, we spend a little more time in the backyard game preserve but
the evening chill chased us indoors again.

En route back to our bus, we make a side trip to Wal-Mart for Kathy’s Silk

Late evening: Watch a little weather channel & some late news.

High temp today=73 Lights out: 10:57pm

Awake: 6:07am Temp 47 Some clouds Overnight @ Grand Junction, Co

After our morning coffee, we walk the campground for 30 min of exercise.
Then after breakfast I call my Uncle Johnny & Aunt Bertha in Massillon,
Ohio & wish them a happy 64th wedding anniversary. My goodness, they’ve
been married as many yrs as I’ve been alive.

We drive (13 min) & visit our good friends Tom & Marge who live in the
downtown area of Grand Junction. We eat lunch & talk for hrs, then sit
outside on their backyard patio & talk for hrs + watch the birds eat grain
from the bird feeders, drink water from the bird bath, build their nests,
& bring food to their young ones in a nearby bird house. Tom, with Marge’s
encouragement (she’d do more, but she has allergies), has turned this
ordinary backyard into a very lovely, manicured, spacious, & fenced game
preserve where one can just sit around, relax, & enjoy the many creatures
about on a warm afternoon with no fear of being eaten alive.

We stay for dinner @ their insistence: Leftover lunch meat assortment that
we didn’t eat for lunch(turkey, ham & hard salami slices) + provolone
cheese slices with condiments of Triscuits, tomatoes, lettuce &
olives….and we continue our talking for hrs. It was a great day.

Back to the bus @ 9:00pm.

Watch movie on cable: “Gambit” with Michael Caine & Shirley MacLaine. A
good flick with a surprising finish.

Today’s high temp=67 Lights out: 12:01am

Awake: 5:22am Temp 45 Partly sunny Overnight @ Grand Junction, CO

Casual morning for us….Kathy does some house cleaning while I casually
stay out of trouble by staying out of her way.

@ 1:33pm, Gary & Rosemary arrive @ our campsite for a visit. We sit
outside under the awning & yak for over 2.5 hrs. They are en route to PA
with a U-Haul truck loaded with their household goods from Pahrump, NV.
Their new home should be ready for occupancy later this Fall.

It was good that this rendezvous with Gary & Rosemary materialized as I
think they might have convinced me to spend some time in PA this summer
especially for checking on their new home building progress, attending a
High School reunion & attending the famous Nicktown Picnic + our annual
cousins’ reunion.

We do some light grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & City Market in Grand Junction.

7:40pm Dinner: Crab cakes, baked potato & fresh spinach salad + toast.

Late evening: watch movie on cable: “The Princess Diaries” with Julie
Andrews; enjoyable.

High temp today=63 Lights out: 12:15am

Awake: 6:22am Temp 46 Cloudy Elevation 4667 ft Overnight @ Grand
Junction, CO

We walk the campground 30 min for exercise.

Kathy makes her famous sourdough pancake breakfast this morning.

Gary calls from Clifton, CO…they arrived last night from Pahrump, NV., &
are staying @ his father’s place with plans to visit us tomorrow.

We take our computer to the campground office & use their modem connection
to pay our monthly credit card bills.

Nick calls from Seattle…we take turns talking with him on our cell phone.
He’s a busy guy these days but it’s obvious that he’s keeping his act

Call my brother Don in Ebensburg. We talk about 20 min.

Jack calls from Memphis…we talk for over an hr. Later this summer, we are
hoping for a rendezvous in Oregon.

7:20 Dinner: T bone steak, sautéed mixed veggies & fresh salad.

Evening time: Watch movie on cable: “The Watch on the Rhine” with Bette
Davis. It didn’t keep Kathy’s attention.

High temp today=59 Lights out: 11:27pm

Awake: 6:57am Temp 40 Clear Overnight @ Green River, Utah

Nice morning & calm winds. By 10:00am, ½ of the RV units parked here are
on their way somewhere. This campground is a good overnight stop & during
this time of the yr, not much else seems to be happening.

Kathy does a load of laundry after breakfast.

Leave the Shady Acres RV Park @ 10:20am. Smooth roads continue on I-70
Eastward with very little mountain climbing today. Our elevation change
averages less than 1000 ft.

Arrive @ The Big J RV Park in Grand Junction, Colorado @ 12:28pm. This
park is not really BIG rig friendly so we park @ the entrance, talk with
the campground host to find out which sites are available, then walk the
campground & plan our approach to a suitable site. With Kathy’s help, we
do just fine.

Today’s travel: 2+07 hrs 103.5 miles 12.25 gal 8.45 mpg 50.8
avg speed

Attend 5:00pm Mass @ St Joseph church in downtown Grand Junction (12 min

7:20 Dinner: Ahi tuna with cauliflower, asparagus in basil cream sauce +
garlic bread.

Call Orley who is just 50 miles from our campground. He is building a
house there & we think it’s time for an inspection….maybe later this week.

Late evening: Watch some cable TV….weather channel, news, etc.

High temp today=66 Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 6:12am Temp 38 Drizzle Overnight @ Kanarraville, Utah

After my cold coffee & during drizzling rain, I get our telescoping ladder
out, wipe water off our extended slides, and then retract them. 2 hrs
later, the sun breaks through the clouds & things begin to dry out…but not
fast enough.

We say our goodbyes to Janice & Steve (campground owners) who have been
very personable & friendly with us during our stay. I had to use
posi-traction on(both dual wheels) to back out of our parking spot.
Unfortunately the ground was still soaked from the recent rains so we did
leave several impressive footprints as a souvenir @ our parking site. At
10:58 am we leave The Red Ledge RV Park & begin heading North on I-15.

From I-15 Northbound, we take I-70 Eastbound with mostly smooth roads & a
lot of altitude changes; down to 4000 ft & up to 7000 ft several times.
Going thru the Fish Lake Nat’l Forest area, the Coal Cliffs & the San
Rafael Swell area were definitely scenic eye openers; no napping for
Kathy! It was like a continuation of sections of Bryce & Zion Parks but
not quite as dramatic.

Arrive @ Shady Acres RV Park & Campground in Green River, Utah @ 3:32pm.

Today’s travel: 4+43 hrs 247.5 miles 30.25 gal 8.18 mpg
53.32 avg speed

After parking & hooking up our utilities, we take a 45 min walk about
town. Well, there isn’t really a town atmosphere here. Although the
population is over 800 people, this town is more like a popular truck stop
with 3 or 4 fueling stations, 5 hotel/motels & about as many restaurants.

7:30pm Dinner: Corn flake breaded fried chicken with baked potato,
asparagus & fresh spinach salad.

Late evening: Watch movie on cable: “Back to the Future” with Michael J.
Fox. We had never seen it & it was kind of entertaining.

Elevation @ Green River=4047 ft High temp today= 71 Lights out: 11:33pm

Awake: 5:33am Temp 44 Some clouds Overnight @ Kanarraville, Utah

Leave @ 8:38am …drive the Suzuki North on I-15 to Hwy 20, then East on 20
to Hwy 89, then South on 89 to Hwy 12 to Red Canyon…then Bryce Canyon.
This chosen route was the long way around but our travel was mostly in the
high plains vs. the shorter way thru canyons & trees on Hwy 14.

Arrive @ the Bryce Canyon visitor’s center @ 10:15(1.6 hrs). Our
introduction to Bryce Canyon was actually the Red Canyon scene on Hwy 12.
As we rounded a curve fairly close to our destination, our attention was
quickly garnered by a display of tall, red, vertical columns, some square
with concave rings, others like spires with concave rings; an unexpected
view of the wonders of Mother Nature.

@ the visitor’s center, we self tour a small museum, then watch a short
movie on the history & what to expect when doing a self tour of Bryce
Canyon by auto.

Bryce Canyon has been accurately described as one of the world’s geologic
masterpieces. Pinnacles, spires & eroded stone stand in galleries of
bizarre statuary that never appear quite the same way twice. The Nat’l
Park service recommends driving to the South rim(9 miles) then start the
self tour as all of the turn offs, parking & paved walkways to the
amphitheater are facing East. Unfortunately today, the sun is blocked with
low dark clouds so the amphitheater will not be looking its best. The
elevation here @ Rainbow Point (9,115 ft) is above the snow level & we are
now walking in snow. Even without sunshine, the view is still
breathtaking. We do 10 of 13 stops along the amphitheater as we head back
towards the visitors center. At our last stop (Sunrise Point), we walk
over ½ mile from our car, then visit the lodge built in 1920 to
accommodate the many visitors who were discovering the Bryce Canyon area.
Throughout this self tour, light snow had been falling but this was no big
deal, we are from Alaska you know! In our walk back to our car, that light
snow turned to heavy snow & we were covered with the white stuff by the
time we reached our Suzuki.

We leave Bryce Canyon visitors center @ 4:15pm. On our return trip, we
take the short cut through the high mountains of Hwy 14. When just
beginning our climb, there is a sign to use caution, road elevation gain
up to 10,000 ft, road closure possible, icing possible & a chain-up area.
It took us an extra hour to get back to our campground due to “heavy snow
& whiteout conditions.” It was something we hadn’t counted on…Alaska in

9:00pm Dinner: Leftover chili with Tostitos.

High temp today=50 Lights out: 12:16am

Awake: 6:20am Temp 46 Cloudy Overnight @ Kanarraville, Utah

Early morning rain with low clouds & rain throughout the day makes our
decision easy on postponing our trip to Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park today.

Late morning, we walk another section of the town for 30 min of exercise;
once more the rain chases us back to the bus.

Kathy continues organizing our 2004 photo album while I go thru papers
unpacked from Alaska to reorganize in our file drawer.

6:45 Dinner: Stuffed peppers, 4 bean salad, cauliflower & broccoli &
garlic toast.

Mid evening: Watch video cassette movie from the campground library: “The
Game” with Michael Douglas. This was one great thriller…& Kathy didn’t
even consider napping for fear of missing something.

Elevation of Kanarraville=5530 ft High temp today=55 Lights out: 11:38pm

Awake: 6:19am Temp 47 Clear Overnight @ Hurricane, Utah

After morning coffee, we walk the campground 35 min for exercise, then
take turns talking with Melissa in Anchorage on our cell phone. She
reports: All is well with the Footes.

We leave the Zion Gate RV Park @ 11:58am. Short trip today and all uphill.
Arrive @ The Red Ledge RV Park @ 12:51 & the campground is located right
on the main street in the town of Kanarraville, Utah., population 320.
This is the smallest RV park that we have stayed in so far. They have 22
sites total & 5 BIG rig sites.

Today’s travel: 53 min 35.4 miles 7.63 gal 4.64 mpg 46.3 avg

After parking & eating some lunch, we walk another 45 min for exercise &
to explore this new town. Our walk was cut short though due to rain
showers. We did find out that the town was founded by Mormons in 1841 &
has been kind of a bedroom community for the nearby town of Cedar City (12
miles away). Kanarraville however, is well laid out with wide streets,
spacious home sites, large shade trees, etc. So after 164 yrs, the
potential for growth may still be possible?

8:10pm Dinner: Lamb chops with mint jelly & baked potato.

Mid evening: watch DVD movie from the campground library: “Ray.” A great
I had no idea of this man’s struggle with drugs & his incredible musical

High temp today=63 Lights out: 12:34am

Awake: 6:40am Temp 47 Some clouds Elevation 2948 ft overnight @
Hurricane, Utah

Today we visit Zion Nat’l Park. Leave our campground @ 10:15…drive our
Suzuke 30 miles on a good road (# 9), which they refer to as a scenic
byway; it was very scenic indeed, in fact it was a warm up of eye catching
beauty leading to the Zion Nat’l Park’s famed beauty.

1st of all, being the last week of April, this was an ideal time for our
visit. This place has been averaging over 2 million visitors/yr the last 2
years &, already this morning when we arrived, parking spaces for autos
were getting scarce, but not as scarce as in the summer. There is, out of
the park-parking available with free shuttle service to handle the higher
numbers. Inside the park @ the visitor’s center, maps of the 6 mile canyon
scenic road & the 8 stops the free shuttle makes along the way are clearly
shown & readily available. There are 30 propane buses in service now &
each bus/trailer combination replaces 28 cars that used to be allowed to
drive on this 6 mile canyon road. @ each stop, there are descriptions of
what to see, a paved or dirt hiking path & degree of difficulty, usually
rest rooms & drinking water & other helpful info signs. We get our Zion
map & guide, hop onboard the shuttle bus (private vehicles are not allowed
on the Zion scenic drive road from Apr thru Oct) & take the shuttle all 6
miles to the end of the line to get a broad overview of the area or, maybe
I should say, under view as we are looking up from the canyon floor to
some 5000 ft or higher. “Angels Landing,” “the Grotto,” and “Weeping Rock”
are examples of some very strenuous, albeit beautiful hikes that climb to
these heights (no, we did not attempt these).

At the last stop, the Temple of Sinawava, we get off & walk a paved trail
that follows the Virgin River along the bottom of the canyon. A high
waterfall greets us almost as soon as we start down the path. The Virgin
River is responsible for creating all this beauty by carving thru layers
of rock over millions of years and exposing black lava rock and vivid red
and white sandstone. Back on the shuttle, we get off at a different
“Weeping Rock,” a short but steep hike on a paved trail that ends at a
rock alcove with dripping springs. We walked behind the small waterfall
which is dependent on abundant rainfall, which they have had this year.
Then Mother Nature has us walking in the “waterfalls” as a dark cloud
opens up; we seek the Lodge store as a shelter. When the sun shines over
the canyon, the colors and view of the canyon walls and cliffs change; it
is hard to describe such beauty. We complete our tour of Zion by watching
a 20 minute video on the park and the life of the early settlers, and then
walk the Pa’rus Trail along the Virgin River thru the campground and back
to the visitor center.

7:50 Dinner: Kathy’s famous chili with Tostitos.

Evening time: Watch some Scientific American program with Alan Alda.

Today’s high temp=68 Lights out: 10:32pm


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