September 2005 Archives

Awake: 5:15am Temp 60 Clear Elevation 4250 ft Overnight @
Kingman, Arizona.

There is a Blue Beacon truck wash with a busy fueling station @ this exit
off I-25, plus we found out that there is a Catholic church in the Old
Town of Kingman with a large parking area just 5 blocks from the church.
Our home hasn’t been washed since May 25….4 months ago when K & I did it
ourselves. We’ve been told that Sunday is the busiest time of the week for
the Blue Beacon truck wash because the truckers want to have their rigs
clean before arriving into the Los Angles area on Monday.

So @ 8:15am we drive over to the Blue Beacon, line up behind 8 trucks for
45 min & wait our turn. They use man & machine for cleaning with an
average of 15 to 20 min per unit. Our motorhome + car take 20 min & they
both look a lot cleaner.

Then we drive down the road to Old Town Kingman (15 min), find the
visitors center, park the coach, walk 5 blocks & attend the 10:30 Mass @
St. Mary’s church.

We are officially on the road again @ 12:00 noon. Interstate 40 through
Arizona continues to be so-so; rough & smooth. Then California; also the
roads are rough & smooth. Our cornering headwind stays with us but not as
strong as Saturday.

We arrive @ the Desert Willow RV Resort in Victorville,California @
4:15pm. Kathy selected this campground as the 2nd choice & it really is a
nice hangout. It’s clean, well organized, big rig friendly with shade +
night security. Just as we finish parking, Diane calls from The Villages
in Florida. They are visiting with the possibility of buying!

Next we walk the campground for 15 min of exercise…. & Kathy does 2
laundry loads.

8:35 dinner: Stuffed peppers & toast.

Watch movie on cable: “Peeping Tom.” Not our kind of flick.

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

Awake: 5:35am Temp 52 Cloudy Elevation 6543 ft Overnight @
Grants, New Mexico.

Leave the Bar “S” RV Park @ 9:00am. Smooth roads through New Mexico….but
“so-so” roads into Arizona. A consistent cornering headwind had my hands
firmly on the wheel throughout the day. En route Kathy makes a couple of
cell phone calls, to Melissa in Indiana & Donna in Nicktown.

Arrive @ the Blake Ranch RV Park in Kingman, Arizona @ 2:20pm local time;
another easy off-easy on campground with big rig friendly streets &
parking sites. After setting up, we go for a walk around the campground &
for a stroll into the high desert area close to the campground for about
30 min.

Today’s travel: 6+13 time 370.8 miles 44.8 gal used 8.29 mph
60.1 avg speed.

6:15 dinner: Steak with leftover food from the Macaroni Grill, salad & toast.

Watch 2 movies on cable: “Miracle on Morgan’s Creek” with Eddie Bracken….a
good film….& “The Sea of Grass” with Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn. We
gave that show a so-so rating.

High travel temp=83 Lights out: 11:04pm

Awake: 6:05am Temp 53 Clear Elevation 7068 ft Overnight @ La Veta,

We left our slides retracted yesterday when walking, auto touring & having
dinner with San, Glen & Betty. Good thing! It rained several times late
afternoon & evening. That clever plan saved me from getting out the ladder
& cleaning off the standing water on the slides, a necessary activity to
prevent water from being brought into the living room and bedroom when the
slides are retracted.

We leave Sammie’s RV Park @ 8:30am. Good travel day…the further south we
went on I-25, the smoother the roads became….especially into New Mexico.

We make a fuel stop @ the Flying “J” in Albuquerque, N.M. We didn’t need
fuel, but I am trying to avoid any fuel purchase in AZ, CA or NV….the 3
highest states in the country for fuel prices.

Arrive @ the Bar “S” RV Park in Grants, N.M. @ 3:30pm. This is our 3rd
visit @ this campground….it’s easy off-easy on, big rig friendly & the
price is right.

Today’s travel: 6+34 time 380.2 miles 44.63 gal used 8.52 mpg
58.6 avg speed.

6:30pm dinner: Crab cakes, leftover brown & wild rice pilaf &
zucchini/squash sauté, fresh salad & toast.

High temp today=82 Lights out: 11:09pm

Awake: 7:08am Temp 61 Mostly cloudy Overnight @ Denver, CO.

1st day of fall & a cold front is passing through Denver this
morning….right on schedule.

I return the Denver phone books we borrowed from Carol, the campground
manager. Those books with their great maps sure made getting around the
area a lot easier.

We leave the Flying Saucer RV Park in Denver @ 9:42am. Local traffic not
so bad & in no time, we are on I-25 southbound. Smooth roads until close
to Colorado Springs, then I-25 begins showing a lot of wear & tear since
we traveled this way in 2003.
En route to our destination today, our friend Sam calls our cell phone &
invites us to have dinner @ their place tonight & asks us to call when we
get into town. We accept the invitation & will call on arrival.

We exit I-25 @ Walsenburg…..passing through town, we are halted by a slow
moving train for 8 min…..arriving @ Sammie’s RV Park in La Veta, CO @

Today’s travel: 3+20 time 172 miles 22.5 gal used 7.64 mpg 54.5
avg speed

I call Sam from the campground office (no cell phone coverage in La Veta
for us). She will meet us @ Charlie’s Groceries @ 2:45pm. K & I walk into
town (5 min) & greet Sam. She is an almost 2 year survivor of breast
cancer and looking and feeling good. She takes us on a casual walking tour
around town: the art studio & gallery to see some quilts like no others &
the post office for her mail check. Then onto Main St. where we visit
Valley Winds clothing for women; Charlie’s for groceries; the library
where Sam works, etc. Everywhere we go, Sam is happily greeted by name;
the benefit of living and being active in a small town.Then she auto tours
us around town….showing us homes that they considered buying after they
sold their mountain home & 35 acres. We stop to see Sam’s mother-in-law’s
newly purchased home, which is being cleaned, painted & readied for
occupancy. Sam’s husband Glen, is also helping his mother, Betty, fix up
the house. Betty moved from Mesa, AZ after the death of her husband in

After seeing Betty’s home, we visit the 11 yr old home of Sam & Glen that
they purchased in March of this yr. Already Glen has converted the single
car garage into a nice workshop & added a 2 car garage connected to the
house & installed a chain link fence around both of their lots to contain
their dogs. Sam gives us a house tour, shows us the delightful
mountain/city view from their porch, & introduces us to Betty….then its
wine & talk catch up time. Sam makes a good lasagna & salad dinner, which
we all enjoy with more talk and wine. We thank them for their hospitality
& agree to keep in touch.

Today’s high travel temp=82 Lights out: 11:05pm

Awake: 5:35am Temp 62 Partly cloudy Overnight @ Denver, CO

Call our campground in San Diego & change our arrival time to 3 days earlier.

Kathy would like to go shopping this morning, but I would rather hang
around the campground….actually I am burned out on shopping @ the moment.
So she takes off to do some light grocery shopping + visit the MotoPhoto
store, etc.

During my casual morning, I happen to glance toward the southwest & see
some dark clouds building & moving northeast. I take this as a hint to
make ready for travel tomorrow….by getting out the ladder, sweeping the
dust & leaves off the slide tops, then retracting all 4 slides; cleaning
off the awning; checking all tires for proper tire pressure & stowing the
extra outside water filters into the basement. Just as these chores are
finished, rain drops start falling on my head…..about 10 min later, a
heavy downpour. Now I am glad to have passed up that offer to go shopping.

Katrina calls from her school…..we agree to meet @ the Macaroni Grill for
dinner @ 6:30pm…..same place we ate last Saturday. We like this
restaurant: you can create your own meal with a lot of options & the price
is right. Since we won’t be in the states for Katrina’s birthday in
October & with the help of the restaurant servers, we celebrate her
birthday a little early with a chocolate cake & a candle + a waitress
singing an Italian “Happy Birthday song.” We eat & talk for 3 hrs, then
say our goodbyes for now. It’s been a terrific week here in Denver:
especially spending time with our daughter Katrina, seeing her apartment,
her neighborhood, her school & her like new car purchase. And…hanging out
with Tom, Marge & their daughter Kathy & seeing other members of their

En route back to our campground, we purchase fuel for the Suzuki…in the
event the latest hurricane RITA does some serious damage to the refineries
in Houston, TX.

Today’s high time=78 Lights out: 11:53pm

Awake: 6:10am Temp 53 A few wispy clouds Overnight @ Denver, CO

Call Sammie’s RV Park in La Veta, CO & make reservations for our next

Visit the MotoPhoto store@ 10:00am….the test photo is acceptable so we
submit our order to be picked up tomorrow.

We drive to Katrina’s Heritage Elementary School in the Centennial area to
be there @ 11:05. Then we spend some moments with her during the kids
lunch time & hers. When the class resumes, she has the 22 kids sit in a
semi-circle & introduces us to the class. We probably spend 20 to 30
minutes answering questions the kids ask us…..then we ask them questions.
It’s always interesting to observe Katrina & admire her calm, collective
but firm method of handling those young children. We were delighted to be
able to see her school & have some time to talk with those kids. Before we
leave, we invite Katrina to have dinner with us in our motorhome tonight &
Kathy made sure she had directions to our campground.

Next we stop @ a Target store a few blocks up the street where I continue
looking for short sleeve dress shirts….none. Then we stop @ Kohl’s store
on Lone Tree drive….I find no short sleeve dress shirts there either!
Kathy finds a different kind of bra though. Since we are in the area of
some of our favorite stores: Costco & Nordstrom’s Rack, we make a big
purchase of: “Frozen Blueberries” from Costco & nothing from the Rack. I
am slowly getting convinced that all the BIG name brand stores have their
winter stock out in force with no summer short sleeve dress shirts
available. Just to confirm my suspicions on this matter, I call Kohl’s
store on Kipling Street. The girl there assures me they DO have short
sleeve dress shirts available…..well, they did indeed, & they were extra
large & extra- extra large. That does it! I will simply wait until we are
in an area that has a warmer climate. Back to our bus @ 4:40pm.

Katrina arrives about 5:30 so we have our wine time & talk about our good
visit with her kids @ her school today….. &, as a matter of fact, what
good visits we’ve been having with Katrina here in Denver these past 5

7:35pm dinner: Pork tenderloin, apple sauce, lettuce & tomato salad, brown
& wild rice pilaf, zucchini & corn sauté. Katrina misses her mommy’s good
cooking, we can tell.

High –low 80’s Lights out: 11:43pm

Awake: 6:15am Temp 53 Clear Overnight @ Denver, CO

K & I make the 8:30 rendezvous with Marge & Tom for breakfast @ the Le
Peep restaurant just up the street from our campground….very convenient
for them & us. This is our farewell time together as M & T will start
driving back to Grand Junction, CO later this morning. We are thankful
that our plan & their plan worked to allow this family/friends time
together. It was truly a lot of fun.

Next, K & I drive directly across the street to the Ross store, where you
can dress for less. I am looking for a few ties….all my ties are in
storage, but I buy nothing. Kathy wasn’t looking for anything in
particular but she finds a nice blouse. Back to our bus @ 11:00am.

Claudette’s husband TC calls from Parker, CO. He had given Kathy route
instructions to our designated meeting place yesterday; his call this
morning is to clarify some of the street names and distances.

@ 11:55am we start driving to the growing town of Parker & meet with TC &
one of his sons, Ryan @ the August Moon restaurant for lunch. We haven’t
seen TC since April 14, 2003 & haven’t seen Ryan since 1995. He’s a
handsome fellow now.

I wasn’t particularly hungry since our healthy breakfast meal ended just a
few hrs ago. So K & I ordered the “Happy Family” meal, a combination of
shrimp, scallops, chicken & beef with vegetables, egg drop soup, & an egg
roll to share. Once I started eating this gourmet Asian food, I had no
problem eating my share. It was great!

We follow TC & Ryan another 5 miles or so to their home in the “High
Prairie@ the Lake” subdivision. Claudette, who is recovering from spinal
fusion surgery that she had several weeks ago, greets us warmly & we spend
the remainder of the afternoon catching up on each other’s lives &
activities. Claudette is already feeling positive results from the
surgery, but has much physical therapy to go thru to regain her strength
and full functioning. TC takes the time to give us a splendid tour of
their grand & beautiful house with its manicured grounds. They moved to
Parker 10 yrs ago from Alaska….Parker is no longer a small town. We say
our goodbyes for now and wish Claudette a continued and speedy recovery &
drive away @ 5:55pm.

En route back to the campground on Parker Road, we stop @ a Wal-Mart Super
store for a few groceries and, with Kathy’s help, a few silk ties. Back to
the bus @ 8:00pm.

9:30 dinner: Leftover food from our Friday night meal @ the Macaroni Grill.

High temp=? Out 11:28pm

Awake: 6:02am Temp 51 Clear Overnight @ Denver, CO

Kathy & I attend 9:00am Mass @ All Souls Catholic Church (20 min drive).
Father Bob gives an excellent homily.

Back @ the bus, Marge calls to say they will be busy visiting their son,
Rob and his family today but want to invite us & Katrina to a hamburger
cook out @ 5:30pm @ their daughter, Kathy’s apartment. We gladly accept.

We have designated a block of time today to call people we need to talk with.

I call my Uncle Johnny in Canton, Ohio @ the hospital. My uncle is 88 &
fell down the basement steps, fractured his hip & messed up his foot. He
was not happy to hear that he’ll be confined to a wheel chair for a spell.

I call my sister Corinne in Maryland & leave a message. I call my cousin
Florentz in PA & leave a message.

I call Sammy in La Veta, CO. I ask her if it would be convenient to have a
couple of seniors drop by for a short visit later this week? “She & Glen
would love to have us visit,” she says.

Kathy calls Jerri in Florida & they update each other on “what’s been

Kathy calls Jackie in Alaska & they update each other on “what’s been

@3:00pm we begin driving away from our motorhome & the cell phone rings.
It’s my cousin Florentz returning my call. I cut the engine off & yak for
just a short time. We continue driving to the Moto-Photo shop where we
give them a test picture to crop & expand onto a photo card. After we are
finished, Kathy’s friend from Parker, CO calls & they make plans for us to
rendezvous tomorrow @ their place.

By now, it’s time for our cookout appointment with Tom, Marge, their
daughter, Kathy, Katrina & us. We must have talked for 2 hrs during our
wine time…then Tom fires up the grill & impresses us with his gourmet
grilling & veggies from his garden in Grand Junction, CO. Another
wonderful evening to build memories on!

High temp today=76 Lights out: 11:23pm

Awake:5:34am Temp 51 Clear Overnight@ Denver, CO

Marge calls @ 7:14am…& gives us directions to meet @ the restaurant Le
Peep on Colorado Blvd for an 8:30 breakfast. We call Katrina & invite her
to join us with Marge & Tom.

When we meet up @ the restaurant, Tom & Marge’s daughter, Kathy, is among
them. She is feeling better this morning & assures us she is not
contagious. We talk & eat for 1.5 hrs, then make plans to rendezvous for
dinner @ 5:30pm. M-T- & daughter Kathy have plans during the day to visit
with their other children & grandchildren in the Denver area.

Meanwhile we visit the Moto-Photo store nearby to consider the Christmas
card photo idea. We agree to return tomorrow with a test photo. En route
back to the bus, we stop @ the Batteries Plus store & purchase (3) new
batteries for my digital diary.

Back in our bus, Kathy begins filling out the Immigration questionnaire
paperwork for our upcoming cruise.

@2:00pm we visit Katrina…..then spend 2 + hrs casually walking to & around
Washington Park near her apartment. It was a beautiful day to do this & a
beautiful park to behold with a lot of people activity everywhere. When
walking back to her apartment, she tours us through the 1st floor of this
main building where there is a workout room, video library, swimming pool,
etc.; very nice operation.

@5:30pm we meet with Tom, Marge & daughter Kathy, son Mike & his wife
Kathy for dinner @ the Macaroni Grill. We all enjoyed another 2 hrs of
good wine, food & conversation. What a great day…..but wait, it’s not over

From the Macaroni Grill, we all drive to Mike & Kathy’s place for more
talk & dessert + to help celebrate Marge’s 39th birthday. Another Son, Rob
and his wife, Kelly, and their 2 daughters were also there. After singing
“Happy Birthday” we enjoyed birthday cake and ice cream. Mike’s Kathy
entertained us by playing the piano and Mike gave his emotional piano
rendition of his favorite song....which I can't remember now...but it was
simply hilarious! Anyway, now our great day had to come to a close.

High temp today=84 Lights out: 12:03am

Awake: 6:02am Temp 54 Clear Elevation 5320 ft Overnight@ Denver, CO.

Talk with Larry in Wisconsin…..they are leaving Sunday, 17th & may
rendezvous with us here in Denver.

Call my brother Don in PA….tell him the good news about Eriko’s pregnancy.

Call Gary in eastern PA……we update each other on “what’s happening?”

Melissa calls: Things are going well for them…. I talk for 28 min & Kathy
talks for over an hr. I am the quite one!

Kathy & I both work on house cleaning this morning & early afternoon:
Kathy dusts the walls, ceilings, etc & cleans the sinks, mirrors, inside
windows, cabinets, etc.

I vacuum the living room, bedroom, closet, window sills, refrigerator
coils, etc. The vacuum unit in the basement overheated during my cleaning
of the refer coils & shut down twice. I had to wait about 15-20 min each
time until the heat sensor cooled down before resuming.

Katrina calls: she is curious & would like to know if we have heard from
Marge & Tom yet & do we have any plans for tonight? “No, not yet!” we tell

Marge calls @ 5:20pm. They just arrived into Denver….delayed due to heavy
traffic & road construction. They won’t be getting together with us
tonight because their daughter, Kathy, has “Fifth Disease” and is feeling
pretty bad, but they want to meet with us & Katrina tomorrow morning for
breakfast. Then my wife, Kathy, calls Katrina & brings her up-to-date on
Marge & Tom. After Katrina hears of this, she invites us over to her
apartment tonight for dinner…..which we gladly accept.

We thought we could get a casual walk over to Washington Park before
dinner but after having our wine time, it was already dark.

8:30 dinner: Pork & chicken stir-fry with brown rice, rolls & mint
chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. That was a great dinner made by
Katrina & Kathy.

High today=75 Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 5:43am Temp 50 Clear Elevation 4710 Overnight@ Seibert, CO

Leave the Shady Grove campground in Seibert, CO @ 8:50am. Our GPS
indicates we’ll be arriving @ our destination campground @ 11:30am. I-70
roads continue being smooth & our GPS does a good job of homing us through
the Denver streets & giving us ample notice for lane changes well before
the off ramps appear. Then the computerized lady’s voice announces: “your
destination is directly ahead on your left. Your route guidance in now

The problem was: there was no campground on our left….no campground in
sight! We were driving slowly through this industrial area with no clue of
“what went wrong?” Our Trailer Life campground directory directions were
very confusing to Kathy so that was no immediate help. In the meantime, we
are blocking traffic on the street so we needed to go someplace, turn
around without detaching our tow vehicle & try the reverse
direction…..then finally, peering through the industrial buildings, we
spot a lot of RV’s across a major thoroughfare. “That’s got to be the
place!” I said to Kathy. But to be sure, we find a nearby wide road with
little traffic, detach our Suzuki, turn the bus around & park off to the
side. I leave Kathy in the bus while I zip off to find the entrance to
this nearby fenced in campground.

Ok, the mystery unfolds: apparently our GPS road map is a little outdated.
The major thoroughfare we paralleled has been newly paved & modified & the
entrance to the mystery campground has now changed to a one way in, one
way out. It only took 2 hrs 50 min for today’s trip but it took an
additional 2 hrs 10 min to finally get into the campground & parked.

Today’s travel: 3+07 time includes maneuvering & reversing course. 147
miles 18.1 gallons used 8.02 mpg 50.5 average speed.

Now we are happy: we have a nicely shaded parking spot which is quite
convenient to our daughter, Katrina’s apartment & to visit with our
friends around town.

We call Gary & Rosemary in PA & wish them a Bon Voyage for their cruise
leaving @ 5:00pm on Friday.
Next we call Katrina & make plans to rendezvous later today @ 6:30 @ her

For the last several weeks I have been getting dangerously low on .3mm 3H
lead for my drafting pencil; it is difficult to find. Using a borrowed
phone book from the campground manager, Kathy finds several phone #’s to
resolve this dilemma. My 3rd call tells me what I want to hear & we’re off
in the Suzuki to Littleton, CO (20 min). 5 packs later & I am good for
months to go. Main Street is so neat; we decide to walk around for another
30 min & explore more of this town.

Next we visit Costco, buy fuel for the Suzuki & a few things in the
store….then drive to Katrina’s neighborhood to meet with her @ 6:30pm.
Just as we finish parking, around the corner she comes. We help her carry
some boxes up to the 3rd floor from her car & then she gives us a thorough
tour of her pad. We like it! It’s very nice & her furniture & things are
well organized.

Later, we walk down the street & eat dinner @ Carmine’s on Pennsylvania
Street. It’s a different kind of Italian restaurant with an obvious active
client base. Seeing the neighborhood Katrina lives in makes us feel even
more comfortable….as there were a lot of young people walking about this
late evening with their dogs or other friends. Back @ Katrina’s building;
we say our goodnights & see you tomorrow.

Today’s high temp=77 Lights out: 11:52pm

Awake: 6:10am Temp 61 Clear Overnight @ Paxico, Kansas

We are up & ready to travel. Leave the Mill Creek campground in Paxico @
8:10am. It’s another good travel day, with light cornering tailwinds &
smooth roads throughout the remainder of Kansas & into the state of
Colorado. We make a fuel stop @ Salina, Kansas & then continue to our
destination for this day.

Arrive @ the Shady Grove campground in Seibert, Colorado @ 2:00pm MDT; a
very small campground in a small town (population 148).

Today’s travel: 6+24 time 378 miles 45.3 gal used 8.35 mpg
59.1 avg speed.

After parking & setting up, we walk to the only grocery store in town;
quite large (probably the only one for miles) & Kathy buys 2
peaches….then we continue to walk the town for 40 min of exercise.

6:20 dinner: Leftover Italian sausage & fettuccini in tomato & vegetable

Early evening: we watch a video movie from the campground library: “Sense
& Sensibility” with Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet & Emma Thompson; a very good
story + good acting….with delicious popcorn.

Today’s high travel temp=77 Lights out: 10:50pm

Awake: 5:40am Temp 75 Clouds & very windy Elevation 1080 ft.
Overnight @ Paxico, Kansas

Katrina calls as she’s driving to her school in Denver. She gives us
information as to the nearest suburb that she is living in…so that
hopefully, we can find a campground nearby.

We decide to stay @ this campground for another day…it’s a very unique &
comfortable place + we can use the day to pause & do other things. So I
walk to the office (about ¾ of a mile), pay for the extra day of camping &
then walk around the town(population 148) of Paxico before returning to
the bus.

After lunch, we both walk into town & check out a few of the stores….this
town is famous for its antique shops (7) for the last 30 yrs. And these
people are not backward operators; they use the latest up-to-date methods
for peddling their wares: i.e. high speed internet & e-bay, etc. And as we
continue walking around town we see signs that warn of buried fiber optic
cable in many places. We spent about 1.5 hrs looking in a few of those 7
antique shops but resisted any temptation in changing our motorhome’s

Around 5:30pm, sitting outside on the swing, we have our wine before dinner.

6:50 dinner: Beef & eggplant over brown rice, cucumbers in cream sauce &

My sister Mary Jo calls: she would like to have our son Nick’s phone number.

We are reading in bed when Nick calls. They have confirmed results; his
wife, Eriko, is pregnant! WOW! & CONGRATULATIONS!

High temp today=87 Lights out: 10:20pm

Awake: 5:03am Temp 72 High overcast Overnight @ East Saint Louis,

After watching the morning traffic report on TV, I thought perhaps we
should delay our departure & just hang out in this campground a few more
hrs. The TV showed traffic backed up for miles coming into downtown St.
Louis, Missouri, our initial direction of travel.

After breakfast, for some unknown reason, I changed my mind….maybe it was
the short distance we had to travel (just across the bridge), then we
would be in downtown St. Louis, MO & on I-70 Westbound.

We leave the Casino Queen RV Park in East Saint Louis, Illinois @
8:04am…..sure enough, our GPS guides us within minutes into that backed up
traffic line leading into the city & across the mighty Mississippi river.
And before we know it, we are lined up for the I-70 ramp & moving along @
60 + mph. That was so much faster than we had anticipated.

I-70 through Missouri, at this time, is not constantly smooth. Many areas
of construction & lane reduction are taking place. Couple this with a
fairly good cornering head-wind & my day was occupied with a close eye on
the road. Then there was the dreaded “toll road” that needed to be skirted
around Kansas City, Kansas. We had to avoid this obstacle @ all costs….
but it did cost. Our time, fuel used & frustration surely added up to more
than the toll costs would have been.....but we achieved our goal, by

We arrive @the Mill Creek Campground in Paxico, Kansas @ 2:40pm. This
campground has some open acreage & unique buildings which is obvious to us
as we drive toward the office to check in.

Today’s travel: 6+35 time 371.8 miles 46.6 gal used 7.92 mpg
57.0 avg speed.

We follow the golf cart driver to our parking site……behind the little red
school house. We like this area of the campground. In addition to the
school house that can be rented, there is: “Uncle Joe’s cabin on wheels” &
“Nellie’s ol blu Inn on wheels.” Both have air conditioning & can
accommodate (2) people in sleeping bags. And there’s more: “Letties
Lodge”….no wheels, but (2) beds, a desk, TV, sink, & a/c. All of these
small buildings are well decorated with antiques & signs. Basically they
are quite cute.

Just outside our coach, there is a wide swing luring us over to have our
wine before dinner & to enjoy the view....

7:15 dinner: Italian sausage, fettuccine in fresh tomato & vegetable
sauce, mixed salad & garlic toast.

High travel temp=upper 80’s Lights out: 11:03pm

Awake: 5:08am Temp 59 Clear Overnight @ South Charleston, Ohio

Our requested pull through parking site yesterday was not as advertised:
As soon as we pulled in, we knew the Suzuki would have to be disconnected
in order to drive the motorhome out. The beauty of a pull through is the
car need not be disconnected!

So @ 1 min after 8:00am (quiet hrs over) this morning, I detach the car &
park it off to the side. Next I back up the bus enough to have the radius
to make the turn circle…..then re-attach our Suzuki & we are on our way @

Smooth roads today on I-70 thru Ohio, Indiana & Illinois. Arrive @ the
Casino Queen RV Park in East Saint Louis, Illinois @ 2:02pm central time.

Today’s travel: 6=32 time 378.8 miles 40.88 gal 9.27 mpg
57.9 avg speed

Nice campground…. We stayed here October 5, 2004 & liked both the area &
the price, so why not do it again. The St. Louis Arch frames the Casino
Queen from our vantage point. It’s very hot here so we sit outside on our
camping chairs in the shade & let the steady breeze cool us down a little.

Rather than have Kathy cook a hot meal, I suggest we simply walk over to
the Casino (10 min) & have dinner over there. We wait until after 7:00pm
to walk across the hot asphalt parking area to the Casino restaurant &
have their buffet dinner. It was not too shabby.

Next, we go downstairs & board the Casino Queen Riverboat, walk around &
watch some of the gaming action. It was very crowded….very few open seats.
One thing I appreciated: it had a no smoking section. We return to our bus
@ 9:30pm.

Today’s travel high temp= mid 90’s Lights out: 10:33pm

Awake: 5:23am Temp 53 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

K & I walk to 8:00am mass….then check the post office for mail & return
back to our coach @ 8:45am. No coffee club for us today!

Call & leave a message for my bro Don in Ebensburg….saying goodbye for
now. Gary C. calls to wish us a safe & fun trip.

We have a quick cereal breakfast, reel in the shore power cord, stow the
telephone land line in our basement, wrap the electrical box on site # 1
for winter & shut down the circuit breakers. Our nearest neighbor Chuck
walks over to bid us farewell & witness the departure process.

@ 9:50am we leave Nicktown & start traveling west. As we are motoring
along I-70, Kathy gets a couple of cell phone calls: Bill from Anchorage &
my sister Mary Jo from Lodi, CA. She talks about 1 hr 15 min total. It’s
very convenient having cell phone coverage during our highway travels.

We arrive @ the Beaver Valley Resort in South Charleston, Ohio (near
Springfield) @ 3:40pm. A very large campground & big rig friendly but also
extremely dated.

Today’s travel: 5+40 time 310.5 miles 35.88 gal 8.66 mpg 55.0
avg speed.

7:15 dinner: Tuna salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers in sour cream & toast.

After dinner, we walk the campground in its entirety…. & it literally
takes us 45 min.

Today’s high temp= upper 80’s Lights out: 10:23pm

Awake: 5:53am Temp 59 Light rain early morn—then sunny overnight @
Nicktown, PA

K & I walk to 8:00am mass…..then join the famished coffee club bunch for
an hr of action packed dialog. Kathy brought some green tomato bars which
everyone seemed to like. In honor of Donna’s birthday, Janet brought her
homemade cinnamon rolls. We check the post office for mail before
returning to the bus @ 9:50am.

Joan calls: She has apples & pears on her trees….come & get them. Kathy
drives over, gets the ladder from the garage & picks a “bakers” dozen of
pears & half a dozen of apples. Joan also left some yellow tomatoes and a
zucchini for us. Kathy is back within ½ hour with the goods.

I begin getting our coach ready for travel: sweep dust & other particles
of stuff off the slide tops & fill our fresh water tank with water from
our well.

Meanwhile Kathy has been doing laundry, ironing clothes in the bedroom, &
making the bed with freshly laundered sheets. After she’s done, I retract
all 4 slides so there will be less for us to do tomorrow.

@ 3:55pm we leave for Indiana in the Suzuki….stopping 1st @ Staples for
Kathy (have copies made of a recipe) & Wal-Mart for me to get Kathy’s
watch battery replaced & to purchase a Sony memory stick for our digital
camera. Then we rendezvous with the Footes & caravan to the Train Station
Restaurant for dinner. Matthew is not feeling his best today….cutting
teeth & has a runny nose but he’s still a delightful guy to be with. We
each take turns walking him around the restaurant. Kathy & I each have a
beer & share a tuna steak meal.

After dinner, we follow the Footes across town to Brusters Ice Cream store
where the Footes treat us each to a delicious ice cream cone for
Grandparents’ day. We sit outside in the small park behind the store &
make yummy sounds. Then give our hugs & goodbyes for now. Back to our bus
@ 8:45pm.

High temp today=79 Lights out: 10:32

Thursday 8 September 2005

Awake: 6:43am Temp 53 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

My cousin Florentz makes a quick & early visit (7:20am) to give us some
more fresh squash, tomatoes, & peppers.

K & I walk to 8:00am mass…. Kathy wanted to throw the squash “hockey
pucks” away, but I convinced her to bring them to the discriminating
coffee members; they gobbled them up during our 45 fast moving minutes.
Then we visit the rectory to make a small donation to the Hurricane
Katrina fund. Next we visit the Krumenacker Hardware Store…..then walk
back to our bus for breakfast.

Shortly before noon, I begin winterizing the campground….site # 2: wrap
the phone connector, and then wrap the electrical box + phone connector in
plastic & tie securely with nylon cord.

Meanwhile Kathy is filling all 13 gallon jugs with our well water….to be
used as drinking water during our travels when the campground water gives
off a suspicious odor or doesn’t taste good.

Several days ago, Kathy wanted to use up our extra fresh green beans &
tomatoes… she customized a recipe called, “Tomato Green Bean Soup,”
with extra vegetables, spices, & diced chicken. I had some for lunch on
Tuesday & it was delicious. This afternoon, we’ll be taking this over to
Gary & Rosemary’s place for dinner. Kathy also finished baking the “Green
Tomato Bars,” some of which will also go to G & R’s.

We drive separate cars….Kathy in the Suzuki to Barnesboro where she picks
up our altered clothing from the seamstress, then to Ebensburg & the
doctor’s office to sign a form releasing her records from her doctor in
Alaska & then she’ll rendezvous with me @ Wal-Mart.
I drive the Lexus…..1st to the bank in Ebensburg to make a deposit, then
to Wal-Mart to meet with Kathy.

From Wal-Mart we caravan to St. Augustine, have happy hour & dinner with
Rosemary & Gary….picnic style. Earlier this year while we were still
touring the western states, Gary offered to store our Lexus in their
garage after they move into their new home…..pending we travel to PA this
summer. I was reluctant @ first….but then I started thinking: I’d be
missing our high school reunion, our annual cousins’ reunion & the
homecoming festival for Nicktown, spending time with G & R & seeing their
new home being built + the opportunity to have our Lexus stored @ the G &
R garage. Then we find out that the Footes will be moving to Indiana, PA
just 21 miles from Nicktown. The pressure was overwhelming….. & so we
drove back to PA & we are very glad we did. I back the Lexus into their
garage, Gary disconnects the positive side of the battery & I spread the
car cover on for winter storage.

Our dinner with R & G: Hot tomato green bean soup with diced chicken,
green tomato bars & Gary’s home made apple pie. A great meal & dessert!
Back to our bus @ 10:05pm.

High temp today=74 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:20am Temp 52 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

K & I walk to the community center @ 8:30 & join the articulated coffee
gang for a fast hr meeting…..then attend the 9:30am children’s Mass. Then
back to the bus for a quick breakfast.

Next I drive the Lexus to Barnesboro & have Al’s Tire Service fix a slow
leak on the left front tire. It was a nail & they fixed it the old
fashioned way by applying a hot patch inside the tire.

Next I pay my 1st cousins a visit @ their family homestead…..these 3 guys
are building a storage shed close to the house. Its lunch time & they are
hungry so I volunteer to take food orders in lieu of helping them on their
project. Louie would like a cheese steak subway sandwich, Cyril orders a
meatball subway, Tony chooses a ham subway & I select a small cod fish
sandwich. 30 min later, I deliver the goods & we sit down inside at the
homestead table, eat, & have a good ole fashioned mini reunion.

Next I visit my cousin, Bernie, who was busy cutting out slats to make
another outdoor swing. He takes a break for my visit & we sit on his 15 yr
old outdoor covered swing & chat for 20 min.

Meanwhile, Kathy was busy in the kitchen again. Today she made yellow
squash muffins. However, she used way too much squash which caused the
muffins to rise and quickly fall, leaving the middles uncooked. After more
baking time, she was convinced she had made squash “hockey pucks.” But,
darn, they tasted good! She kept her 2:30 doctor’s app’t in Ebensburg and
followed that with a brief thrift store stop and some grocery shopping at

I call & talk with Steve, one of the plumbing & electrical brothers who
has been working on hooking up our new well….he reports that the filters
for our well are due in on Friday….he doesn’t know if they will arrive
morning or afternoon.

Call Rosemary C. in St. Augustine. I humbly request a change in the date
that we plan to bring dinner to their place from Friday to Thursday.
Luckily, she says: “it’s OK” & it’ll work out better for them.

Kathy returns from her doctor’s visit & shopping in Ebensburg @ 6:10 pm.

9:00pm dinner: BLT’s using neighbor, Malachi’s, fresh beef steak tomatoes
accompanied by Florentz’s delicious ears of corn.

High temp today=78 Lights out: 11:03pm

Awake: 5:13am Temp 56 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

1st thing this morning @ 7:00am, I start the brush mower & move it onto
the grassy area for washing & cleaning. After that cleaning, I try & start
the engine again & the start rope breaks! It can’t be started with the
rope broken; Whew! a lucky time for that to happen.

I make a quick call to Clymer Rental & leave a message about the starter
rope in the event they need to power the mower on ramps onto their truck.

K & I walk to 8:00am mass….then join the polished coffee club members for
a quick 45 min meeting. Kathy stays longer and exercises in the workout
room @ the community center. I have some special things to do so I hustle
back to our bus by 9:15.

No sooner do I get into the bus when my sister Corinne calls; she is
curious as to how the cousins’ reunion went this year. She normally is the
MC but this yr, she is out of town. I give her a good report but we all
missed her presence. We talk for 35 min.

Next, I drive to Krumenacker’s Hardward Store & purchase a new 60 amp
circuit breaker. We’ve had 3 power failures occur in our motorhome these
last 3 mornings. When I wake up, I usually turn on the AQUA HOT so the
coach water is hot enough for Kathy to wash her face. There is heavy
current draw to heat up our 17 gal alcohol tank that the water flows thru
to heat it up. Then I had to go outside @ 6:00am or earlier & reset the
circuit breaker in the main electrical box. I caught on eventually &
finally figured out that the breaker was hot, weak & needed to be
replaced. So now it’s done & the electrical system has returned to normal.

During my “replace the circuit breaker time,” Kathy returns from her
exercising accompanied by another man…our near neighbor, Myron. She is
giving him a tour of our camper which I had promised to do sometime this
week…Kathy does give people a good tour but she’s expensive!

I call Carol @ her business: “yes Monte, it’s OK to get your Lexus out of
storage!” “I’ll be right there,” I tell her. I drive our Suzuki over to
the storage facility….which Carol has opened, uncover the Lexus, turn on
their big compressor & pump up a flat tire, then jump the battery with the
Suzuki & the big V8 starts right up. I last drove our 1991 Lexus October
5th, 2004. Already we have 27,800 miles on this car. Then I drive the
Lexus over to our circular driveway, park it close to our motorhome & use
the coach engine batteries to bring the Lexus battery up to a good charge.
Then walk back to the storage facility & bring the Suzuki back to our
circular driveway.

About this time, a Mr. Lieb from Clymer Rental arrives in his truck to
pickup the brush mower. He did listen to my earlier recording & luckily
brought a come-along to pull that mower up the ramps for loading onto the
truck & returning the equipment back to Clymer.

Kathy spent most of the day in the kitchen; she made zucchini cranberry
cake and started on green tomato squares. She was trying to use up the
green tomatoes we had, but actually needed more. A short trip to our
neighbor, Malachi, and she returned with many more green tomatoes than she
needed! It looks like we’ll be having more fried green tomatoes. She
needed other ingredients though so this recipe will have to be finished
after a trip to the store tomorrow.

@ 5:10pm Gary & Rosemary stop in for a few minutes en route from Ohio to
St. Augustine after visiting Rosemary’s brother.

Tonight is boys’ night out: Kathy will be home alone….but she’s smiling?
7 of us meet @ the Old Farm Inn (10 min) for Pizza & Beer. Louie, Cyril,
Tony, my bro Don, Bill, Cliff & I talk about the ole times, the present &
the future + a few old girlfriend stories to help keep each other from
boredom. It was fun & we had some good bonding time.

High today=77 Lights out: 11:45pm

Awake: 6:02am Temp 52 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

K & I walk to 8:00am Mass…..then join the urbane coffee members for over
an hr. Roger is our new guest in town from Texas (high school classmate) &
has been visiting friends & relatives over the Labor Day Holiday. He has
been a nice addition to our conference room conversations.

Afterward, I return to our bus & have a quick breakfast & then….get after
the (brute)…..the brush mower. I mow more tall grass on our property for a
good (4) hrs until I run out of gas. I had requested Kathy earlier to make
a fuel run for I was running low so now I get a break & wait for her
return. I must have drunk (3) good & cold glasses of water during my break
time. After filling the brush mower’s fuel tank, I mow for another hr
until Kathy signals me that Roger has arrived for a scheduled visit.

Roger & I used to pal around together with another classmate Gary P. in
high school. For the past 30 + yrs, he’s been living in Harlingen, TX with
his wife & family & doesn’t get back to his home town of Nicktown very
often. We sit outside on our camping chairs, drink water & soda & talk
about the past, present & future while we snack on Triscuits, different
cheeses & mixed nuts. Later I give Roger the nickel tour of our home on
wheels. Roger leaves & I return to mowing the tall grass for another 1.5
hrs until darkness sets in.

Kathy has been busy in the kitchen today making zucchini cranberry cake
and starting on green tomato squares. She also made a pot of fresh tomato
and green bean soup, using Florentz’s tomatoes and Gary C.’s green beans.

Total time for brush mowing Saturday & Monday= 11.5 hrs. I figure it would
take me another 10 hrs to finish mowing our entire 6.9 acres. What I have
done though makes our circular drive & parking site look more suburban.

9:30 dinner: BLT’s using Florentz’s fresh tomatoes.

High temp today=78 Lights out: 10:31pm

Awake: 5:32am Temp 51 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

Today is Homecoming Festival day for Nicktown. We planned to all meet @
11:00am here on our property…except my bro Don who might be running a
little late…. & the Footes who might be late because of their attending
9:30am Mass in Indiana…. & Gary & Rosemary who we asked to come earlier if
they want to. I know this is bad journalism but it’s the facts! Nothing
but the facts!

So it’s Gary & Rosemary, Kathy & I walking to the Nicktown hall & standing
in the long line together. In line we are just behind Charlie (high school
buddy), his family & some of their siblings so they are introduce to G &
R. The line moves slow…. & maybe 40 min later, the Footes join in. Just as
we are about to enter the “great hall” & be seated, my bro, Don appears.
How does he do that! His waiting time was only 4 min.

The roasted chicken, locally grown & mashed potatoes, homemade noodles in
chicken soup, coleslaw, cucumbers in sour cream, homemade breads and
homemade pies for dessert were super good as usual. Getting this annual
event, including all that is involved in getting ready for today’s dinner,
along with all the other attractions & money raising events is a huge &
totally volunteer production. It takes a lot of cooperation & hard work
from a lot of good people. This yr was no exception; it was a busy,
crowded, family- oriented, super big picnic with a lot of out-of-towners
attending. This little village of 200 swells to 2,000 people for this
“Homecoming Festival!”

Kathy & I didn’t have much time with the Footes, my bro Don or Gary &
Rosemary after we finished dinner. G & R are heading to Ohio to visit
relatives, so their plan was an early departure anyway.

We had a 2:00pm start time for the fifty-fifty chance program & a stop
time of (?). We did our best…..talking to people nicely whom we didn’t
know, trying to be friendly & personal to the people we did know…..then
try & con both known & unknowns into buying tickets to win 50 bucks. I
actually did enjoy a lot of this salesman stuff but I felt like a phony
when talking with the people I have known for years & trying not to rush
the conversation….then quickly ending a good start of personal bonding by
asking: “Oh, by the way, would you like to buy a chance on the 50-50?”
Kathy had an advantage since she didn’t know a lot of people she was able
to sell her share of the chances much quicker than I. Anyway we did OK as
1st time volunteers. For next yr, we are going to try to volunteer the day
before the festival, and then have the Homecoming Festival day free.

@ 6:00pm, we were turned loose from the 50-50. We were free to mingle &
roam separately & we did until 8:30. Then we walked together back to our
bus & watched the 9:00pm fireworks from the comfort of our living room.
This fireworks display, was a 1st for Nicktown & was quite a thriller.

Today high temp=74 Lights out: 10:37pm

Awake: 5:40am Temp 55 Partly cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

After a quick breakfast, we drive to Gary & Rosemary’s place & arrive
there @ 8:30am. They are having a “moving party” & we are honored to be
invited. Rosemary’s brother Rick brought a flatbed trailer with him as a
party favor & this, alone, made the party a huge success.

We moved items from their detached double garage to their new home with an
attached double garage. The party was over much too soon….10:00am. We did
miss the 1st hour of fun by not getting there by 7:30am. Anyway, to make
up for that, we took the time to relax outside & enjoy some good
conversation with Rick, Gary & Rosemary + have some coffee with cookies
before leaving & heading back to Nicktown.

En route we couldn’t resist stopping in Patton where they were having a
street fair. We perused the arts & crafts displays, then sat down &
enjoyed some local pizza while listening to some good music. Back to the
bus @ 12:20pm.

Next I call Clymer Rental & talk with Connie who sets me up with a 26 inch
Brush mower. I have tried to hire someone local here to cut the tall weeds
on our property with a tractor & bush hog to no avail. So, I might as well
do it myself.

In less than an hr @ 1:20pm, Ed delivers the machine. Obviously I didn’t
ask enough questions during my renting conversation with Connie: when I
saw the machine, I was a little surprised that it had neither a seat nor a
steering wheel. I will get some walking time doing this job.

Ed gave a few simple instructions & drove off in his truck. I spend 1.5
hrs on the high grass (about 4 ft tall & higher) around our circular
drive, then clean up & K & I attend 4:00pm mass. Then, after changing into
my jungle clothes, I spend another 2.5 hrs walking behind the machine.
The "Brute" works very well & we'll spend some more time together on

9:00pm dinner: Alaska salmon burgers, cucumbers in cream sauce, (4)
variations of fried green tomatoes & toast.

High today=71 Lights out: 11:37pm

Awake: 5:20am Temp 58 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

James arrives @ 7:15am…..takes him 30 min to dig the ditch from the well
casing to the water faucet & power box (20 ft). He gives me thumbs up &
drives off to his next project.

Maybe an hr later, Steve & Eric drive in to do the plumbing, pressure
tank, lower the submersible water pump down 150 ft into the well & do the
associated electrical work.
Steve & Eric are brothers & these guys are good. It takes them a good 4
hrs to have enough plumbing & electrical work done to have water delivered
through the hose.

And then it happened: cold, clear water gushes out of our hose. We let it
run for a good 30 min, then Eric takes his testing kit & checks: PH
factor=7.2 Hardness=6 Iron = 1.5 parts per million. We think it’s a
good start. I let the water run for 2.0 hrs longer, and then it feeds into
our filters…..then our motorhome. It’ll be nice NOT to have to carry water
for our holding tank.

@ 3:30pm we drive to Lilly (30 min), stopping in Ebensburg for a bag of
ice. We are setting up the church basement for our cousins’ reunion. The
church, Our Lady of the Alleghenies, lets us use their basement
facilities… charge. It takes K & I an hr to finish up the
preparations: 6 rows of tables with 8 chairs to a table; 42 placemats,
plastic utensils for 40 people; paper plates, napkins, etc. That’s what my
chores consisted of.

Kathy did the easy stuff: making the coffee in a 30 cup machine, setting
up the soda bottles & plastic drinking glasses, etc. Well, I better be
careful here, she did help me with those tables & chairs.

Slowly the cousins begin arriving…bringing in the covered dishes; main
courses, desserts, beer & more soda. In all, there were 30 of us. We
mingled & updated each other on our lives since the last time we were
together. Of course with all that talking, we had to have a beer or two to
quench our thirst.

About 7:05pm Kathy announces: “Let’s eat!” Florence, citing one of his
poems, led us in saying Grace before eating. When most were done eating or
at least eating dessert, Kathy thanked everyone for coming and introduced
our 2 younger families, Neal & Lynn and their children and Melissa & Kevin
and their son. After that we had a series of funny but true stories told
by anyone who was willing to do so. We had some good laughs over the next
30 min or more. Then we say our goodbyes until we meet again next yr or

Back to our bus @ 9:30. Gary C. called & left a message…… I return the
call. The rendezvous for tomorrow’s party has changed: It is now 7:30.

High today=79 Lights out: 10:43pm

Awake: 5:25am Temp 59 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

K & I walk to the community center……then exercise for an hr. After
changing to different clothes that we brought with us, we join the worldly
coffee members for more than an hr. Afterward, a quick stop @ the post
office, then back to the camper for dinner…, just kidding about the
dinner……it was a late breakfast.

Kathy gathers up dirty laundry & makes a trip to the Laundromat in North
Spangler. Kathy reports that, while at the Laundromat, she watched the gas
price at a station across the street go from $2.99 to $3.19 in the course
of 20 min.

I add the 19 gallon of water we delayed pouring into our fresh water tank
on Monday due to heavy rains moving into our area from hurricane Katrina.

Kathy returns with clean-folded clothes & a few shirts & pants to iron.
Then she readies herself for a trip to Ebensburg to start the process for
her initial physical with a new doctor. If he passes muster, he may be our
regular physician.

Meanwhile, James drives up to scrutinize the area where the ditch is to be
dug for the water & electrical line for our new well…..then maybe an hr
later, he’s back with the backhoe & leaves it in place for tomorrow.

My cousin Florentz visits to dowse the well casing…..checking the quality
of our water.

@ 4:50pm Kathy returns from her doctor’s visit.

5:45 dinner: BLT’s using tomatoes from Florentz.

K & I walk to 7:00pm mass….which was longer than our usual. 1st we had
Mass, then Vespers (evening prayer) including additional hymns & then
Benediction (a ritual blessing using a special vessel containing the
Eucharist). Afterward, I talk with Irvin & Jean while Kathy talks with
Donna about her husband, George.

Some late evening reading for both of us.

High today: 73 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:10am Temp 69 Intermittent light rain Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

Walk to the community center @ 7:45am & exercise for 50 min. Then join the
refined coffee club members for 1.5 hr.

Kathy leaves to help make candy @ the Nicktown Hall for the Homecoming
Festival. I return to the bus to make some phone calls: to my brother &
sister-in-law regarding the cousin’s reunion on Friday & the Homecoming
Festival on Sunday. Then a call to Steve, who might be doing our plumbing
& electric hookup for our new well….in fact; I talked with Steve twice &
accepted his estimate over Larry’s. His itemizing seemed to be more
accurate & professional.

Kathy returns from making candy @ 1:50pm, nearly 4 hrs later. She looks
tired; there were only 8 workers so it’s good that she was able to help

Hurricane Katrina has given us steady rain all day so far with some wind.

We decide to drive to Johnstown (35 min) & buy a Rubber Maid storage
container to use as a pump house. 1st we make a stop @ Conzatti’s Italian
store on Scalp Ave, then Home Depot. It took some time to decide what
model of Rubber Maid to select but then finally, we both agreed on the
larger size. A young man Josh helped lift the storage bldg package onto
the roof rack of the Suzuki & I tied it down firmly. We drove 45 mph while
returning to Nicktown as it was pretty windy. We were back in the bus @
6:30pm & we left the Storage Bldg on the roof of our Suzuki overnight.

8:00pm dinner: Alaska salmon burgers, brown rice, some of Florentz’s
tomatoes & blue cheese salad + toast.

My brother Don calls & we talk about the cousin’s reunion & the Homecoming

I call James: I want to make sure he will be digging the ditch on Friday
before Eric & Steve show up to do their plumbing & electrical work on the
well. He says he’ll be here on Friday @ 7:30am.

High temp today=68 Lights out: 11:11

Awake: 6:06am Temp 66 Rain---heavy @ times Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

We drive to 8:00am mass…..then back to our property & move our bus a
distance away from the drilling rig.

Bill & Justin arrive in the water truck @ 8:50am. After a little chit-chat
with them, the boom goes up & the drill bit starts biting back into that
bedrock where they left off yesterday. @ 93 ft, there is water. We ask
Bill to continue drilling down to 160 ft ….he does but finds no additional
water. Bill measures that our well is producing 10 to 12 gallons of water
per minute.

During this drilling operation, a small audience begins to assemble: Al &
Donna were 1st to arrive, then my cousin, Florentz. My cousin explains:
even though no additional water was found in drilling to 160 ft, this
extra shaft length is a good reservoir for water storage in the earth.
Bill & Justin clean up their drilling rig, power down the boom & drive
away to their next drilling project.

Meanwhile, Melissa calls from Indiana to bring us up to date on their
house hunting. The Footes had made their 1st offer on the 6th Street house
in Indiana on Friday, the 26th. This is the house that we looked over
carefully on the 21st & my cousin Florentz scrutinized on Wednesday, the
24th. Well, the same day the Footes made their offer, the owner countered
but came down very little from her asking price….during the evening time,
the Footes countered again. And again, the owner countered but still only
reduced her price on the house very little.

Monday, after realizing the owner is not reducing her price very much with
each counter offer, the Footes made their final offer.

Today…this morning, they found out there is another party interested in
the house they are negotiating on. As a matter of fact, that other party
has already made an offer. Now the Footes are concerned that maybe their
last offer wasn’t high enough & they will lose out in getting this place.
Melissa asks us what we would do. It’s tough to give advice on something
like this. Kathy is neutral….I tell Melissa I need some time to think
about it. 20 minutes later, I call Melissa & tell her my unemotional &
unprofessional opinion….that I would do nothing….leave your final offer
just as is. If it’s meant to be, you’ll get the house.

@ 12:30pm Al & Donna drive up to get the final figures on the well drilling.

7:15pm dinner: Parmesan breaded eggplant with chicken breast, salad & toast.

Kevin calls mid evening: they bought the 6th Street house. They held their
ground & their final offer was accepted. Supposedly, the other offer
didn’t have good financing even though their offer was higher. We
congratulate them on their strength & for holding their ground.

Late evening: we call Joan in Navarre, Ohio & wish her a happy birthday….
we talk with her and her other half, Mark, for nearly an hr. They are
leaving on Thursday for a 2 week driving trip to Nova Scotia and points in
between. We wish them a safe & fun trip.

High temp today= 72 Lights out: 11:12pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 63 High thin clouds Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

Walk to 8:00am mass…..then join the cultured coffee group for just a short
time. Kathy then exercises while I walk back to the bus & make a phone
call to Larry & see if his drilling team will show up today. “He will try”
he says. “Mid afternoon if all goes well” no pun intended.

Having this info, I return to the community center & join Kathy for 55 min
of exercise.

It was about 3:30pm when Larry called: “my guys are in Nicktown with the
drilling equipment. Maybe you could go find them & lead them to your
property.” Hey, who’s he kidding? Find that little drilling rig & water
truck in a busy metropolitan area like this? Took me about 3 min…..but
then, I got lucky.

I spotted their rigs in the post office parking lot…led them to our
circular drive & pinpointed the exact spot to be drilled. Bill, the drill
rig operator & his helper Justin position their equipment to the spot we
think will work for us. While they are doing that, I move our bus far
enough away so that we don’t get splattered in the event they find a
gusher of oil.

Bill’s assistant Justin hadn’t been feeling well over the weekend & this
afternoon, he is really hurting. So Bill sets the rig up, drills down to
bedrock (26 ft), & then installs a 6 inch casing + dumps in some
bensonite(sp) which seals the casing to the bedrock. He lowers the
drilling tower down for the night & they tell us to look for them around
8:30am tomorrow.

While Kathy makes dinner, I go to the Waterfalls and fill our 19 gallon
jugs. As we begin getting ready to pour the water into the holding tank, a
light drizzle begins and the sky looks ominous so we decide to postpone
the pouring of the water.

6:15 dinner: Leftover Italian sausage, egg plant casserole with sour cream
& toast.

Shortly after dinner, heavy rain begins falling & stays with us throughout
the evening. We call my sister Corinne: she is very much into the program
set forth by the administrator and she sounds good.

We call Gary & Grace in Kemblesville & thank them again for their
hospitality & good times. I still don’t understand how Gary was able to
get such an elaborate & eloquent motor home for such a low price?

High temp today=72 Lights out: 11:48pm

Awake: 6:02am Temp 63 Fog-light rain Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

We drive to Indiana, PA & attend the 9:30 mass @ St. Thomas More church
with the Footes. Matthew selected his “G” Daddy (that’s me) to hold him
during the service….then he fell asleep…for about 30 min in my arms. I
felt so special! So this is what being a “G” Daddy is all about!

After donuts and coffee in the church basement, ( Footes had donuts, we
had coffee) we meet with their realtor, Lisa, & tour another house for
sale within their price range. In no time at all, it was obvious that this
house was no competition for the one they have been considering to make an
offer on.

After that house tour, we all have lunch @ the “Train Station” on
Philadelphia Ave. This was a good choice….not only for the good food but
also for its historical significance; the station was in operation for
decades near the rail line until being renovated into a restaurant.
Matthew enjoyed watching an overhead electric train that continually runs
thru each room. After our meal, we leave the Footes & head toward the
Waterfalls to fill up our 19 gallon jugs with water, and then slowly pour
that precious liquid into our holding tank.

7:30 dinner: BLT’s & cucumbers in sour cream.

My friend Ray calls from Ocean Shores, WA. We haven’t talked for a while
so it’s family update time with some high tech computer talk.

We call Zack in Seattle: He’s keeping busy with his work & play & sounds
good. We talk for over an hr.

Gary & Rosemary call mid evening to tell us about the “Old Roman Mass”
they attended today which they found out is not recognized by the pope.

High temp today=82 Lights out: 12:32am

Awake: 6:50am Cloudy Overnight @ Kemblesville, PA

Both Kathy & I take showers in Gary & Grace�s motor home. This motor home
has been a very comfortable & accommodating apartment to hang out in
during our visit. We found it to be just as plush & eloquent as our own &
they paid thousands of dollars less for theirs than we did for ours. I
tell you, Gary has bargaining power.

We pack our small overnite bags, make sure everything is just as neat as
we found it, turn off all the switches & lock the door. Then drive our
Suzuki up to G & G�s country estate & who do meet along the way but Gary.
He invites us into their home for coffee & breakfast. These guys have
really gone out of their way to make us comfortable & to see so much of
what they have with the little time we had. It�s been great! We say our
�goodbyes & thank you�s for now� & leave @ 10:00am.

Our return trip was literally (2) hrs less then it took getting there. We
had taken Route 30 on Thursday & although it was very scenic and the small
towns we drove through were unique & comforting, it was a big mistake in
time. The toll road (I-76) was more direct & easy, but you pay extra for

We made 2 fuel stops (1st one the price was way out of line) so we took on
5 gallons. The 2nd price was more reasonable & then we filled up.

With our extra time, we stop in Johnstown on Scalp Ave for groceries @
Market Basket & Conzatti�s�.then to the �Outhouse� for party supplies to
use @ our cousins reunion on Friday�.then Goodwill for a search for
dancing shoes for Kathy. We are back in our bus in Nicktown @ 5:00pm.

7:45 dinner: Italian sausage, whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce,
spinach, & red leaf lettuce salad.

I call Gary & Rosemary�we wanted to invite them to go with us to Indiana,
PA tomorrow�..but they already have other (maybe more exciting) plans.

Lights out: 12:01am


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