June 2006 Archives

Awake: 6:15am Temp 67 sleep 6+23 sunny overnight @ the
Newell campground… Miami, Oklahoma.

Yesterday, traveling on I-44, we passed up a truck wash a mere 25 miles
from our destination & Kathy mentioned that we should have stopped to have
our coach washed. My reaction to that was: “we can wash it ourselves in
the Newell campground; we’ll have the time & we need the exercise!” We
both smiled & nothing else was said about that.

Well, today’s the day. Before breakfast, I am up on the roof with the
water hose, telescoping brush & Windex. About an hr later, the roof is
clean & Kathy’s sourdough pancakes with bacon & eggs are ready. Working
together, (4) hrs later, the coach is clean again plus Kathy had enough
energy to wash our Suzuki while I polished some of our stainless steel.

Next, we cut each other’s hair. It took close to an hr before Kathy hinted
that: it “might” be good enough! I liked my (10min) haircut immediately.

8:00pm dinner: Chicken with Portabella mushrooms, Florentz’s off the
cob…corn from last summer, spinach salad, brown & wild rice & toast.

We were pretty tired so….no TV tonight again.

High today=84 Lights out: 11:02pm

Awake: 6:10am Temp 65 sleep 7+02 sunny elevation 1016 ft
overnight @ Peculiar, Missouri.

Both Kathy & I make a number of phone calls mid morning during our free
cell phone day. Then leave this Peculiar Park Place Campground @ 10:00am.
By the way, this P.P.Place was voted campground of the year by several
campground directories. It really was a nice hangout & every site had a
good view. There must have been @ least (4) parking tiers each with long
pull through sites. We arrive @ the Newell Service campground @ 1:00 pm.
Smooth road all the way.

Today’s travel: 3+00 time 160 miles 17.9 gal used 8.96 mpg
54.1 avg speed.

Only (3) parking spots available so we choose the one with the most
shade…… although the shade was great, the trees blocked our satellite
signals so no DirecTV. As a back up system for entertainment though, we
plugged into the TV cable system.

@ 5:00pm, K & I attend Saturday Vigil Mass @ Sacred Heart church just (5
min) down the road.

8:30 dinner: Leftover Italian sausage with sauce & whole wheat spaghetti,
cauliflower, mixed salad & toast.

Nothing worthwhile watching on TV so we both did some late night reading.

High today=91 Lights out: 11:52pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 63 sleep 6+12 sunny overnight @ HWH

We leave the HWH parking site @ 8:10am. Good weather travel day with I-35
roads thru Iowa & Missouri being 50% rough & smooth. I-435 around Kansas
City, MO & hwy 71 so far, being very smooth. We make (1) comfort stop en
route. Arrive @ the Peculiar Park Place RV Campground in Peculiar,
Missouri @ 2:42pm.

Today’s travel: 6+33 time 355.5 miles 38.4 gal used 9.26
mpg 55 mph avg speed.

After parking, K & I take the Suzuki a mile up the road to the Peculiar
Golf, Learning & Driving Range where we practice hitting some golf balls.
It’s been a ….l-o-n-g time.

7:15 dinner: Snappy swordfish, baked potato, spinach salad & toast.

Again, we watch (2) movies: “No Where to Hide.” Suspenseful &
unpredictable! We didn’t know the actors but it kept us glued to our
seats. 2005.

“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Filmmakers, Joel and Ethan Coen have
concocted a morality fable wholly unlike any other in recent memory,
starring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Holly Hunter,
etc. Three escaped convicts share a series of adventures, and
inadvertently become a singing sensation performing “old-timey” music in
1930’s Mississippi. Delightful to watch. 2000.

High today=77 Lights out: 11:08pm

Awake: 6:40am Temp 67 sleep 7+10 rain…heavy @ times
elevation: 734 ft. overnight @ the HWH parking site near Moscow, Iowa.

The HWH workers are arriving for work as I quietly sneak out of our
bedroom & go into the living room. Later, I watch the weather channel to
find out how widespread this rain system is…..then learn about the severe
flooding in Ohio.

Kathy makes oatmeal with chopped nuts, Craisins & milk for breakfast.

@ 9:30am, K & I go inside the large production building & ask for Angie.
“Next building which is # 2 & go upstairs” we were told. I had talked with
Angie & Mike from HWH in February this year trying to get more info on our
leveling system. I would like diagrams & schematics to better understand
my systems. Angie invited us to visit their factory sometime & stay in
their campground which has 50 amps.

We meet both Angie & Mike upstairs, chat a little then ask about the
technical publications. Mike directs Angie to lead us back downstairs to
the publication department & sure enough, they had a booklet covering in
detail the very things I wanted to know more about. Before we leave bldg #
2, Kathy spots a test setup over in the corner that looks interesting.
It’s a demo unit showing how the hydraulic slide outs & leveling system
works. We ask a fellow by the name of Curt if it’s operational: “sure is,
would you like to watch?” he says. So, not only did we get to talk with
the designers & builders of these systems but also got to hear the oh-so
technical explanation of why “this & not that” theory. I learned more from
Curt, the designer @ HWH, than the many visits @ the Newell factory, but
then that’s understandable.

After that good demonstration & talk, we do a self tour of the BIG
production bldg where we were encouraged to just walk around & ask
questions if you don’t understand something & that we did. According to
the office people, there are some 300 employees working in (4) buildings @
HWH. By the way, they also told us that HWH has no special meaning, the
owners just made it up & it’s a family owned corporation.

Mid afternoon, we drive to the town of Moscow, IA (10 min) where we buy
some veggies from a roadside stand.

6:45 dinner: Italian sausage, whole wheat spaghetti with vodka sauce,
cauliflower, sugar snap peas & toast.

(2) movies from satellite: “Julia” with Jane Fonda, Fred Zinnemann,
Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, etc. An interesting story with Jane Fonda
playing Lillian & her unusual friend Julia & how Julia drew Fonda into
involvement with the European resistance movement in the 1930’s. We liked
it! 1977.

“Young Frankenstein” with Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Cloris Leachman, etc. A
reasonably funny story (& most quoteable) parody of the old Frankenstein
pictures written by Wilder & Brooks with black & white camerawork & some
of the laboratory equipment from the 1930’s. It was “just ok” if you like
that kind of entertainment. 1974.

High today=77 Lights out: 11:18pm

Awake: 6:20am Temp 64 sleep 6+12 sunny overcast sky
overnight @ Maple Grove, MN.

This 1st official day of summer is off to a great start here in Minnesota,
it’s beautiful this morning. We leave the KOA of Maple Grove @ 9:49am. A
lot of fast moving traffic on I-94 …..I-494…..& I-35W. A mere 40 min
later, we are out of the city & looking @ farm country again. Kathy has
the sleepies today but does an excellent job of selecting good music,
weather information + news & providing my ½ flat bread sandwich to snack
on while I drive. We make (1) comfort stop en route, arriving @ the main
parking area of HWH Corporation near Moscow, Iowa @ 4:50pm.

Today’s travel: 7:08 time 385.4 miles 42.3 gal 9.12 mpg
56.1 avg speed.

The HWH Company specializes in making the leveling systems & slide-out
mechanisms, all hydraulic, for many different models & makes of motor
homes. Our motorhome uses the HWH system & so far, all is well. I have
very little information on these systems in my files & have been wanting
to learn more…..thus the reason for this visit. They have 10 parking sites
with electric only for people like us.

While Kathy prepares dinner, I take a casual walk thru (1) of (4) large
buildings that make up the HWH Corporation, but I don’t really know what I
am looking at. Since we arrived just as the day shift was shutting down,
we’ll go to the office & introduce ourselves tomorrow. They are running
(2) working shifts but the evening shift is a fraction of the day shift as
witnessed by the number of cars.

7:20pm dinner: Tuna steaks, brown & wild rice, broccoli with roasted red
pepper & toast.

Evening time: Watch some news & miscellaneous programs via satellite.

High today=81 Lights out: 11:30pm

Awake: 5:16am Temp 62 sleep 5+37 cloudy…..then sunshine
overnight @ Maple Grove, Minnesota.

We eat breakfast & then drive to Wayzata to spend the day with Mary Lou &
Bob. 1st we talk about what to see & do today…..while the ladies are
discussing that, Bob invites me along for a ride to his bank, then we
check all 4 tires on his Saab auto for proper tire pressure. Back @ their
house, no ideas were jumping out @ us so Bob simply suggests seeing the
town of Wayzata & the local areas. Great Idea!

Turns out, this area surrounding Lake Minnetonka was a playground for the
rich & famous during the late 1800’s & early 1900’s. This resort community
was popularized in 1879 when a Dr. Edward Perkins published a pamphlet
encouraging travelers to come to Lake Minnetonka for “health reasons” &
for “the climatology” & come they did….by carriage & train, later by
streetcar & streetcar boat. From all directions @ the rate of about 20,000
tourists a yr & obviously, they are still coming today. Bob did a terrific
job of showing us about 30 of these beautiful & older mansions with
immaculately landscaped acreage.

At one point we stopped & got out of the Saab to walk around the grounds
of the famous Noerenberg Gardens where the Grain Belt Brewery founder,
Frederick Noerenberg, built an enormous Queen Ann style home with 8
bedrooms, 3.5 baths & many leaded stained glass windows. He had a
tree-lined avenue, tiered rose beds & impeccable manicured lawns as well
as a working farm. I have no pictures…..I forgot to bring my camera, darn.

We stop for lunch @ Lord Fletchers & watch a few yachts dock for lunch
also. Then to the town of St. Louis Park, where the ladies grocery shop in
the one-week old “Trader Joe’s” grocery store which was very crowded. From
here, Bob drives up to Maple Grove where we are camping & we open (3)
slides as a demonstration & then give them a tour of our home on wheels.
We probably gabbed for nearly (2) hrs before heading back to their house
where Mary Lou put their Trader Joe perishables in the frig. After that
short stop we headed to the small town of Wayzata (5 min) for a light

Our 8:15 dinner was different: new restaurant in town by the name of Cosi,
a New York chain, getting started in MN. On their menu were sandwiches
made on flat bread, baked in the restaurant. We each ordered a sandwich,
which was quite good. Neither Kathy nor I could finish our sandwich so we
took it with us back to Bob & Mary Lou’s mini mansion and then on to our
mini mobile mansion.

We gabbed for another hr on their front porch before saying our goodbyes &
all that stuff. It was a great day & really nice seeing my ole buddy &
his wife again. Back to our bus @ 10:08pm.

High today=77 Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:10am Temp 62 sleep 6+40 Sunny elevation 993 ft.
overnight @ Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Our camp site is surrounded by trees so we have no DirecTV signal which
means….no news, no weather channel, no movies etc. But we do find things
to do throughout the morning & some of the afternoon. Kathy does some
dusting & organizing while I reorganize my closet & pretend I’m busy.

@ 4:30pm we drive the Suzuki down hwy 101 to Wayzata, WI (25 min)….to
visit & have dinner with Mary Lou & Bob, my ole Air Force buddy. We spot
their driveway immediately; since Mary Lou told us to look for the “For
Sale” sign posted by the roadside. A circular drive winds up in front of
this 3800 square feet house with huge tall trees & nice landscaping making
it look like a mini-mansion.

Mary Lou is sitting outside on their porch watching us drive up. We have a
nice chat with her before Bob arrives 35 min later. They both look
terrific. $1,175,000.00 is the price tag for this well built house with 4
bedrooms + too many extras to list. Bob finished the bedrooms upstairs
over the garage adding (2) extra bedrooms + adding air conditioning to
each room in the process.

7:15 dinner: Pork chops, corn casserole, potato salad, mixed salad,
homemade apple sauce and pickles & brownies ala mode for dessert. Mary Lou
is a wonderful cook.

We sit in their sunken den & talk for hrs + we are entertained outside
with the squirrels, birds & (2) deer walking around feeding off the
droppings from the elevated bird feeder. We are planning on spending
another day with Bob & Mary Lou tomorrow. Back to our bus @ 10:32pm.

Today’s high=81 Lights out: 11:39pm

Awake: 6:15am Temp 72 sleep 6+55 Rain overnight @
Watertown, WI.

Last night before leaving the house, Sallie insisted that she make
breakfast for us before we leave…….a nice gesture, but I know she’s worked
hard these past few days & she sleeps later than we do, so with all do
respect, I insist on declining her good intentions.

We wait until 8:00am to go into their house…..Larry greets us & tells us
that Sallie is still sleeping & would we like him to start breakfast?
Again I decline but thank him for the offer. We are planning on an
8:30……9:00am departure & Larry will assist Kathy in being an extra set of
eyes for when I drive out this morning. Using an umbrella to shield the
rain, I wipe the shore power cable as it reels into its holding cabinet.

Back inside the house, Sallie is awake so we say our goodbyes & thank her
for such wonderful hospitality, friendship, food etc.

Kathy & Larry follow me on foot as I drive down their curved driveway &
make the 90 degree tight turn with some close encounters with tree limbs.
At one point, Kathy gives the stop signal, calls Larry over to access the
maneuver: “cut the wheel sharper” he recommends & “then straighten out.”
With good assistance we survive with no scratches & no need to back up. We
say our goodbyes & thanks to Larry…..then Kathy follows me in the Suzuki
out & down the rural hwy a ¼ of a mile where I turn off & hitch up the
Suzuki in the rain. So we leave the Larry & Sallie home campground @
8:48am. It was truly an extraordinary & wonderful visit with S & L. We’ll
be looking forward to our future rendezvous.

100 miles into our travel, the rain subsides & blue sky appears. We make
(2) stops: Flying “J” for fuel (ouch) & the welcome center in Minnesota.

As we are rolling along on I-94, a cell phone call comes through: It’s our
son Nick calling from Moscow, Russia …..with Father’s Day wishes. He
arrived into Moscow about 9 hrs ago & is staying awake so as to get a good
night’s sleep to hopefully adjust to his new time zone. I extend a “Happy
Father’s Day” wish to Nick as well. That was an exciting call for us.
Isn’t it amazing though! How those signals can find their way across
thousands of miles & still be so clear & static free? Modern technology is
getting to be so phenomenal.

Katrina calls from Anchorage, Alaska with Father’s Day wishes. I don’t
know how we missed hearing our phone ring, but we did. Darn! We found her
message 20 min later & returned her call but she apparently already linked
up with the hiking gang & they are climbing that mountain.

Arrive @ the Maple Grove, MN. KOA campground @ 3:37pm.

Today’s travel: 5+59 time 319 miles 37 gal used 8.62 mpg
53.7 avg speed

Shortly after our arrival into this campground, Zack calls from Seattle,
Washington with Father’s Day wishes. He’s on his way to work @
Isilon…….putting in extra hrs on a special project. He sounds good.

Melissa calls from Indiana, Pennsylvania with Father’s Day wishes mid
evening. We have a good chat & then I wish Kevin a “Happy Father’s Day.”
Kevin is making great progress on his Space Pak air conditioning system. I
was delighted to hear this report.

Getting phone calls from all of our children on Father’s Day sure makes me
feel extra special. We are very fortunate to have such nice kids that
treat us so well & stay in touch so often. I thank all of you guys for
being such wonderful young adults & you truly do make me feel special.

Kathy calls Jamie, a college friend of Melissa’s, who now lives in the
Minneapolis area and they have a nice long chat. Jamie would like to get
together with us but since she works full time at the Univ. and since we
have planned our time here to get together with Bob and Mary Lou, long
time friends of ours, it probably won’t happen on this visit.

I call my brother Don in Ebensburg, PA & wish him a "Happy Father's Day."

Late evening dinner: Leftover stuffed pepper, mixed salad & toast.

Today’s high=86 Lights out: 11:30pm

Awake: 6:45am Temp 73 sleep 7+22 sunny overnight @
Watertown, WI.

Knowing we were going to have a large lunch, we both ate a light breakfast
of Kathy muffins and cantaloupe.

Not knowing when the group inside the house will be awake or active, we
remain in our coach until close to noontime, reading & taking notes about
what we are learning of this new experience.

About (5) min before noon, Larry knocks on our door & reminds us: “time
for lunch.”
We went inside to find the kitchen a very busy place with the women
putting the food out. We sat down to eat about 12:30 pm. The Sabbath lunch
is much less formal than Fri eve dinner, but still prayers and blessings
are said and sung and hand washing and sharing of the special bread
(Challah) is carried out. Our lunch consisted of: fish (white fish salad
and baked wild salmon), Cholent (a barley vegetable stew which cooks all
night), cold turkey and chicken, pasta and vegetable salads, and dessert
(fruit, ice cream and cake). The meal was complete when Larry began
praying the after meal prayers and all joined in.

After lunch, some of us women went for a short walk and the men got
involved in a motorhome conversation. The 4 women played Mah-Jong, and I
watched for a while. Sallie was content to have some quiet time and read a
book on the porch. Some took naps. We went back to the motorhome and got
ready to go to 5:15 Mass at St Bernard’s in Watertown. After Mass I played
Rummy Kub with 3 of the women and then it was time to eat again.

So at @ 7:15, we gathered around the table for prayers and a lighter, more
informal meal of Challah, fish, deviled eggs, left over salads and
dessert. This followed by more prayers and singing.

When we finish eating we have about an hour before the official end of the
Sabbath. Some of us women again went for a walk, while the others read and
talked. All seem to be getting eager now for the ceremony (Havdolah) which
will end Shabbat. It is a ceremony to distinguish between the Shabbat we
have experienced and the week we are about to enter. Blessings and prayers
are said over the wine which is in a cup overflowing, a symbol of joy; the
spices (cloves) which are passed around for all to inhale to comfort the
soul at the loss of Shabbat; and on the flame from a multi-wicked candle
which symbolizes light and dark and the ability to see the difference in a
very deep way.

And so the Sabbath has come to a close and the daily activities resume;
time to clean up, wash the dishes, get rid of the garbage, read the mail,
etc. For those who have traveled, it’s time to pack their suitcases for
their drives back to their homes. We say our good byes, thank them for
including us, and return to our motorhome. It has been a wonderful
learning and sharing experience for us and we are grateful to Sallie and
Larry for opening their home to us and sharing a very important part of
their lives as well as their friends and family with us. If I’ve
misinterpreted or not done justice to my description of the Shabbat, I ask
forgiveness and hope to be set straight. I must say we feel a closer bond
with all of the people with whom we shared this weekend, and especially
with Sallie and Larry, and look forward to working with them next summer &
attending the Oshkosh Air show.

High temp=86 Lights out: 11:20pm

Awake: 5:15am Temp 71 sleep 5+55 Overcast
elevation 797 ft. overnight @ Watertown, WI.

Late morning, Sallie talks Larry into driving us all to the town of
Columbus, WI. En route, Sallie notices a fresh strawberry stand where she
buys, I think, a ½ flat. Then we continue to Columbus. We are about (3)
hrs early for the advertised Horse & Carriage competition show (the
advertisement failed to post the time), so we sauntered around the
beautifully restored & newly built carriages & peered into the stalls of
their horses. Sallie realizes her time for cooking dinner for 13 people
tonight may be in jeopardy if we wait for this event to begin….so its back
into the Odyssey & down a different road which takes us through the town
of Waterloo & Lake Mills. Next we are pulling into a driveway where Larry
makes a cell phone call & asks Arnie: “could you come out to your

Arnie & his wife, Mary Jane, are interesting people. For the short time
that we had, we discovered that Arnie will be 80 yrs of age July 28th &
has many hobbies: roller-skate dancing; repairing electronic organs in his
basement + other devices; does wood carvings & takes good care of his wife
Mary Jane. During their younger days, they were world travelers. Arnie has
a pilot’s license & was active in Ham Radio but I don’t know if he is
still active. In their living room, Arnie demonstrated the electronic
organ & its sound characteristics & then played some snappy tunes. I am
confident he could have easily entertained us a lot longer but we needed
to move on. Tonight’s dinner preparation was calling Sallie & she needs to
do some serious grocery shopping.

Back @ the S & L house, Sallie takes the Honda Odyssey to go shopping &
Larry invites us to join him on a local tour driving one of his older
Cadillac’s. 1st though, we visit the Farm & Fleet Tractor store where he
returns a torque wrench that works intermittently.

Then it’s down the road to where(3) brothers have farm land & we begin
looking for one of the brothers. As we walk, Larry is pointing out what
the brothers have built on this property: a fiberglass shop with a lot of
tools & machinery but we didn’t venture inside; next we walk by a
brother’s underground home with only a southern exposure, but we didn’t
knock or want to disturb anyone. Then we follow a path leading us to a
small home built with bales of straw covered with a hard concrete. I have

Obviously none of the brothers are around so we follow our leader, Larry’s
request to snap off a good amount of growing asparagus to add to tonight’s
dinner meal. It would have been interesting to meet with these phantom
brothers as I have many questions I would like answers for.

After a somewhat sober factory tour of Larry’s retired business of making
bins & removable arm extensions for garbage trucks & the tools, machinery
& equipment that remain, we return back to his home. Along the way
however, he does point out another house that belongs to one of the

Sallie has returned from grocery shopping & is in high gear in the
kitchen. (3) of the ladies from Chicago have already arrived, dropped off
their suitcases & gone to the local outlet mall for shopping, but not for
groceries. Kathy volunteers to cut the ends off the green beans & de-stem
those fresh strawberries. I want to help so Sallie asks if I would shuck
about (2) dozen ears of corn, then break them in half. When I am finished,
Larry invites me upstairs to his office for some even more important work:
to discuss airplanes & machines, etc. Larry had accumulated some 4,500 hrs
of flying time so far. By the time Larry & I are finished with our highly
technical discussions, we are called downstairs into the less busy
kitchen. At this time, Kathy & I are being honored to meet their guests:
The (3) that drove up from Chicago: Debbie the driver, Rochelle & Vivian.
From Milwaukee: Elaine & Mel. From across the field: Sallie’s brother,
Bruce, his wife, Marsha, & 2 of their sons, Jeremiah & Micah.

Now I’ll let Kathy take over.

Monte and I feel privileged to have been included in Sallie & Larry’s
Sabbath celebration. Of the 13 people present, we were the only Gentiles;
S & L are orthodox Jews as are their friends from Chicago and Milwaukee
who have come to share the Sabbath. So, I will try to relate what I as a
Gentile understand of this happy and holy time.

To an orthodox Jew, Friday sundown to late Saturday evening is Shabbat
(Sabbath); meaning to “stop” or “cease.” As God created for 6 days and on
the 7th He stopped creating, so the orthodox Jews stop “creating” and
spend that 25 hour period getting back in touch with the meaning of it
all; a time to relate with their Creator and all He has given them. They
spend this time with friends and family giving to all the spiritual and
physical nourishment needed to grow as individuals in God’s love. By
commandments (mitzvahs) they are forbidden to do many things, things which
would in any way focus their attention away from God’s creative power and
love and onto their own ability to change things, such as; drive a
vehicle, watch TV or listen to the radio, turn lights on or off, talk on
the phone, pay bills, use any kind of writing implement, etc. Things like
money, pens, etc. (muktzak) must be set aside because they have no use
during the Sabbath. Cooking is also forbidden, thus Sallie’s need to have
all cooking done before sunset and in sufficient quantities to last to the
end of the Sabbath.

At 7:30 pm Shabbat began with special candle lighting by the women (for it
is woman who brings light into the home). The table was set with the
finest china. Ritual prayers (Kiddush) were said, led by Larry. Wine and
food were blessed (Bentched); wine drunk; songs chanted and everyone
washed their hands in preparation for eating the special bread (Challah).
The Friday evening meal is the most formal and has the most food served. I
don’t think I can remember all the food but it was all very tasty. A good
sampling is: gefilte fish, soup, roasted chicken, noodle kugel, several
vegetable dishes incl. the freshly picked asparagus, several salads, cake,
cookies, and fresh strawberries for dessert. When we were finished eating,
final prayers and blessings were prayed and sung.

After the table was cleared, we all spent time talking and/or reading.
Dishes cannot be washed until the end of the Sabbath. Monte and I returned
to our MH about 9:30.

High temp=85 Lights out:11:13 pm

Awake: 6:19am Temp 60 sleep 7+00 sunny elevation 974 ft
overnight @ De Forest, WI.

We leave the KOA campground @ 9:22am. It’s a short drive on Interstate 94
& hwy 26 to the town of Watertown. As we approach our destination, Kathy
calls Larry on the cell phone to confirm final landmarks: “go past the
Wal-Mart on your right, look for the “Kwik Trip” gas station up ahead &
make a left turn across from that, then go to the top of the hill & turn
right. I’ll be there to lead you in” says Larry. Our GPS had the routing
slightly different which would have made entry into their driveway most
difficult so we were glad to have Larry’s assistance. Sure enough, as we
crested that hill, there was Larry to lead us in. Once in the initial
driveway (shared by (2) other families), Larry stops, greets us & suggests
that we un-hook our Suzuki & plan our maneuvering into their section of
driveway which made a 90 degree turn to the right.

I was glad for the extra set of eyes. We agreed to a back-in parking
method to be in front of his garage, which meant pulling into a neighbor’s
driveway & maneuvering around some closely planted trees, then following
the curved driveway to their house.

Once parked, Larry brings out a drill, makes a few holes through the wall
to their former exercise room, then uses the Saws-all to cut a square hole
slightly larger than my 50 amp plug. I reeled out our shore cable, stuck
the plug through that square hole & Larry plugs it into the 50 amp outlet,
formerly used for their Jacuzzi. It took maybe 20 min & we have a
comfortable campground setup. Out of many invitations to park in peoples’
driveways for the night or a few days, this is the 1st time we accepted an
invitation to do so.

Larry’s wife, Sallie, comes out to greet us, and then we are invited to
sit down & catch up on: “what’s new?” in their screened-in back porch
with a 20 ft high ceiling with fan. This setting was great: a near
wilderness feeling, an in-ground swimming pool just beyond the outside
deck & peering through some trees, one can see the famous Rock River that
winds 3 or 4 times throughout the city of Watertown. “Very comfortable” I
thought to myself. Then someone mentioned: we have mosquitoes & flies &
they are in here. Kathy speaks up: “you don’t own a “Bug Zapper?” On that
note she disappears for a few minutes & then re-appears with bug zapper in
hand. She taught Larry & Sallie the scientific process of using this
electrifying gadget & as they say, the rest is history.

After a casual tour of their spacious, unique & beautiful home, we hop in
their Honda Odyssey auto to have coffee & lunch @ the new Berres Brothers
Coffee Roasters a mere 7 min away. Kathy & I share an Ahi tuna salad.

Mid afternoon: Larry invites us to join him on a trip to see the Bike
Doctor (Tom) in the town of Dousman. He brings along (2) road bikes in the
back of the Odyssey to be fitted to his physique for better posture &
healthier cycling. It was quite interesting to watch this Bike Doctor take
intricate measurements, then change the handle bar setting, seat height &
distance setting & measure Larry’s leg angle while stopped, etc. During
the final process, we listened to Larry say things like: “I’ve never felt
so comfortable before on this bike; my back is relaxed, etc, etc.
Obviously this was the right place & thing to do for Larry’s road bike

@ approx 7:30, dinner is ready @ the back deck. Larry grilled hamburgers;
Sallie provided the buns and condiments for the burgers plus salad, Kosher
hot dogs, & spaghetti. It was a lovely evening but we were ready with our
bug zappers just in case; the bugs must have sensed this as they stayed
away for quite a long time and then we decided to retire to the inside of
the house.

Later this evening, Sallie & Larry demonstrate the system they use with
DirecTV to record, playback, & while watching a live program, one can even
back-up to see or hear what one needs repeated; a neat idea which we may
look into sometime.

During this time, Sallie’s brother, Bruce, & his older son, Jeremiah,
visit for a short time. They live just across the field belonging to the
1st left driveway of the three forks. They were curious about our
home-on-wheels so I hinted: “Tomorrow!”

High temp=? Lights out: 11:20pm

Awake: 6:09am Temp 62 sleep 4+55 sunny, then late morning rain
overnight @ De Forest, WI.

Casual morning for us. @ 11:00am, dark clouds began approaching our
campground from the west. To avoid having Kathy climb the telescoping
ladder later to clean off the slide tops, I retract them now. Sure enough,
the first wave passed thru 15 min later & then an hr later, another wave.

After the 2nd wave passes, Kathy walks over to the main highway to
“Ehlenbacks Cheese Chalet” & re-stocks our cheese assortment tray. During
her time away, I program the GPS for tomorrow’s destination. Later, I call
Bob, my ole Air Force buddy in Minnesota & talk about our potential
rendezvous dates.

6:15 dinner: Stuffed pepper & salad with blue cheese bits from Kathy’s
latest buy + toast.

(2) Movies tonight: “In America.” It’s a film about the struggles of an
Irish family that moves into a slum area of Manhattan, with more emotional
baggage in tow than material possessions. A good movie. 2002.

Next movie: “Rambling Rose.” Everything is just right in this film about a
13 yr old boy who falls in love with his 19 yr old nanny: A sexy ball of
fire called Rose. Great flick but not for younger children. 1991.

Late evening: we call & talk with Nick in Seattle. He’ll be leaving on
business to Moscow, Russia this Saturday for a(1)week stay.

High temp=77 Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake: 5:43am Temp 53 sleep 7+09 sunny overnight @
Spring Green, WI

Leave Bob’s Riverside RV Resort @ 10:15am under a clear sky & arrive @ our
destination for the day @ the KOA campground in DeForest, Wisconsin @

Today’s travel: 1+26 time 64.7 miles 8.0 gal used 8.09 mpg
45.6 avg speed

Nice campground: easy off & easy on the Interstate + big rig friendly. I
like the campground layout & design…..in half circles, the arcs sweep
further outward with spokes running thru the half circle. It makes for a
pleasant environmental landscape.

Aside from parking & extending a few slides, the 1st order of the
afternoon is to find a store where I can buy another memory stick for our
digital camera. I maxed out my other sticks & want to have them on line
before I erase them. Getting directions from the campground office helps &
45 min later, we are pricing sticks @ Radio Shack, then Best Buy near the
East Town Mall. Hopefully the Best Buy was the better buy.

En route back to our KOA campground, we stop briefly @ a Pick & Save
grocery store in DeForest. Prices were not too favorable so we buy little.

We change clothes, drive to downtown Madison & wait briefly @ State &
Fairchild Street, just west of the Capital building, & meet with Kathy’s
cousin Jodi. She attended our wedding in 1991 & we haven’t seen her since,
some 35 yrs.

I wouldn’t have recognized her; she was a young teenager @ our
wedding……but after walking around a bit and talking with her, the Jodi I
vaguely remembered came back. We decide to have dinner at the sidewalk
café of the Tutto Pasta restaurant. The (3) of us share a small eggplant
Parmesan appetizer then Kathy & I split a chicken Parmesan dinner while
Jodi has the chicken Parmesan dinner for herself & takes the leftovers
home with her for another meal later.

Then Jodi gives us the best tour of Madison we’ve ever had; she works
downtown, knows her way around & knows her buildings & their usage; those
to be renovated & transitioned into condos & those to be razed with a new
building to be erected. We walked over to the Monona Plaza & admired Lake
Monona, watched a water skier & then walked around the Capital building.

Adding to our professional tour adventure was the world’s largest (have I
used this phrase lately?) public art event called: the “Cow Parade.” There
are 100 of these fiberglass, painted, costumed & whimsically transformed
cows on display in greater downtown Madison. Yes, I took some pictures
just because they were so creative & amusing.

It was good seeing Jodi after all of these yrs & it was fun hanging around
with her tonight. Before we say our goodbyes, Jodi gives us good
directions to the Woodsman’s Market which is open 24/7, is employee owned
& operated & is a great place to grocery shop & that we did. We are back
to our bus @ 11:15pm.

High temp=? Lights out: 1:14am

Awake: 5:45am Temp 49 sleep 6+16 Fog…then sunshine
Elevation 738 ft overnight @ Spring Green, WI.

Kathy makes some hot oatmeal with Craisins & nuts for breakfast. Casual
morning for us…..we needed that after that “House on the Rocks” tour

Late morning, we walk over to the campground office & use their phone to
make reservations for our next campground. Then Kathy calls her cousin,
Jodi, in Madison to plan a visit with her tomorrow. We have zero cell
phone signals in this sparsely populated area.

@ 1:30pm we drive (4) miles to see the “House on the Rocks” (resort) with
its 27 hole golf course & 3 or 4 swimming pools. A very upscale & remote
operation, this resort was purchased in 1999 & added to the assets of the
“House on the Rocks” consortium.

Next we visit the Frank Lloyd Wright visiting center just across the road
from his famous Taliesin home where Frank lived & worked for 48 yrs. He
designed & had the visitors center built in 1923 but it looks like a
modern structure that would have been built today. Our plan was to tour
the Taliesin house but the price per building was just a little too
costly. There are (3) building one can tour.

So in lieu of paying the price, we simply watched a video in the visitors
center, then took a walk on the paved trail paralleling hwy 23 which
afforded us a better view of his personal residence: the Taliesin; the
hillside home school: midway farm; the Tan-y-deri house & the Romeo &
Juliet windmill, which I was able to capture somewhat on digital pictures.
It was a (1) hr walk which also gave us a little needed exercise.

7:20 dinner: Pork chop, sweet potato, apple cheese salad & toast.

We’ve gotten behind in our movie watching a little so tonight, a double
feature: 1st movie: “Pretty Poison.” Definitely not a family film by any
means, but great acting by all three: Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld &
Beverly Garland. 1968.

2nd movie: “Murder in my House.” It was OK but somewhat predictable.

High temp=77 Lights out: 10:34pm

Awake: 6:39am Temp 50 sleep 6+16 overcast overnight @
Spring Green, WI.

Kathy makes whole wheat sourdough pancakes with bacon & eggs for
breakfast. Then we drive (7) miles to see: “The House on the Rock.” Not
knowing what to expect, we brought with us one healthy bar each & our
water bottles. What we read about this place: “…some consider it to be an
architectural wonder; others a boondoggle; still others suggest it’s just
plain weird. “

It took us close to (8) hrs to figure this place out with no lunch break.
The 13 room original house is literally built atop a 60 ft high sandstone
rock. The interior has subdued lighting, ethnic artwork, blue stained
glass for a nighttime ambience & low-slung Japanese ceilings. Another
room was added some 25 yrs later called the Infinity room, which extends
218 ft over the scenic valley & 156 ft above the forest floor. This room
has 3,264 windows for walls that treat the guests to a truly spectacular

According to the ushers, these museum like structures & attached buildings
are visited by a half-million people each year. We took our time, looked
carefully & took many pictures along the way. There were collections of
strange, unusual & rare objects: ancient suits of armor, Burma shave
signs, automatic playing instruments, statues, the world’s largest cannon,
the world’s largest carousel which twirls daily, doll collections, antique
guns, mechanical banks, vintage automobiles, hot air balloons & a
multi-story Rube Goldberg machine

Oh, there’s so much more. I should elaborate a little more about the
world’s largest carousel: its 35 ft tall, 80 ft wide, weighs 35 tons &
contains 269 handcrafted animals (not one of them a horse), 20,000 lights
and 183 chandeliers. Many of the creatures were created by House on the
Rock sculptor Tom Kupsh.

The Music of yesterday room contains what’s billed as the “greatest
collection in the world” of gigantic pipe organs & automatic music
machines. These include orchestrions(giant mechanical music boxes that
imitate the sound of an orchestra), along with the world’s only
mechanically operated symphony orchestra with wax people who move, play &
look so real as they are performing.

Well, there are just too many items yet to mention but I have pictures,
many pictures. But…who is the guy that started all of this & why? His name
is Alex Jordan Jr. & in 1946, he came to the rock & began building the
house of his dreams. It was meant to be a personal weekend retreat but
people were curious, always asking if they could see it. So in 1960 Alex
Jr. officially opened “House on the Rock” to the public. The unquenchable
thirst for more drove Alex to go beyond “the house”. He found that
dazzling visitors once was simply not enough. He wanted to create more &
more spectacles that would amaze people for yrs to come.

Interestingly enough, Alex Jr. hated to travel & never left the U.S.A. He
used the phone, sent his astute workers to wherever something of interest
came up for grabs, negotiated & made the deal without leaving the state.

Alex Jr. Jordan passed away November 6 of 1989 @ the age of 91. House on
the Rocks was sold to Art Donaldson in 1988 & the tradition of gathering
collectibles of unusual, weird, hard to find items & antiques continues
under the new leadership.

Alex never lived in the unusual house, but he did take the proceeds from
the admission fees & used them to purchase items for his ever-growing
collection of antiques & curiosities over the yrs.

We were so thoroughly impressed with what we saw; the amazing large
structured buildings & the too numerous to mention collections that were
displayed……. enough so, that I couldn’t help writing so much about it.

7:45pm dinner: Chicken stir-fry with toast.

Late evening: we watch the movie: “The Truth about Cats & Dogs.” Cute
comedy about a guy who falls in love with a radio talk-show host before he
even meets her. It’s an enjoyable romantic comedy to watch. 1996.

High today=67 Lights out: 11:29pm

Awake: 5:13am Temp 52 sleep 6+21 mostly sunny
overnight @ Milwaukee, WI.

Leave the Milwaukee State Fair RV Park @ 9:07am. Smooth roads on I-94 to
Madison….then on hwy 14, rough roads until about 20 miles from the town of
Spring Green, then there was recent resurfaced asphalt to ride on; what a
welcome difference.

We arrive @ Bob’s Riverside Resort @ 11:40am. Today’s travel: 2+32 time
118.9 miles 13.5 gal used 8.81 mpg 49.3 avg speed.

After parking & extending our slides, we drive into the town of Spring
Green to check it out by doing a self walking tour. The signs all
indicated 1,444 population but this town has many active stores &
businesses for it’s size. We think it might be a popular tourist town
because of “Taliesin,” the Frank Lloyd Wright home & “The House on a Rock”
adventure, both within 7 driving miles.

We attend 6:00pm Mass @ Saint John the Evangelist church…..then back to
our bus @ 7:15.

8:20pm dinner: Italian sausage with peppers, onions & mushrooms, mixed
salad & toast.

No movie tonight. Some reading instead.

High temp=67 Lights out: 12:23am

Awake: 6:02am Temp 61 sleep 6+49 partly cloudy
elevation 774’ overnight @ Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As I mentioned yesterday, this State Fair RV Park is simply a vast
concrete parking lot with water connections, electrical boxes & sewer
attachments. There are no trees, playgrounds, showers, etc, but it was
fine…..it was big rig friendly, quiet, reasonably close to the city & the
price was right.

After breakfast, we drive our Suzuki 30 min south to a place called:
“Greendale.” It’s one of (3) greenbelt communities founded by the
Roosevelt administration in 1936 during the great depression; housing for
needy families & work for the unemployed. It took (2) yrs (from 1936 – 38)
to complete the 572 homes. Interesting fact: the homes are backwards.
Built very close to the street with the living room @ the rear of each
home & done on purpose, to allow the pioneer residents a better view of
their picturesque backyards in lieu of looking out on a street.

It’s easy to find where friends live in Greendale. That’s because of its
“alphabetical sections” parceled off into the “A” section, “B” section,
etc. Every street in each section begins with the coinciding letter of the
alphabet---Apricot Court, Arrowwood Street, & so forth. In 1936, the
government-owned houses rented for $19.00 to $32.50 a month. A garage was
$2.50 extra. Only those earning $1000.00 to $ 2400.00 annually were
considered for this middle-income housing venture.

Anyway, this is the town where Roy Reiman of Reiman Publications purchased
some 200 acres during the 70’s, including the abandoned Allis Chalmers
Tractor Factory. He renovated the huge three buildings factory & is using
them as the main offices for his publishing of 14 magazines including
“Taste of Home” & their most recent magazine: “Cooking for Two.” 3 of the
4 test kitchens for the cooking magazines are housed in the main office,
where a staff of 25 home economists, recipe editors, food stylists, and
editorial assistants carefully evaluate each recipe before it gets put
into a magazine.

We were 30 min early for the visitors’ center & had to wait for it to
open; we forgot that we were in the Central Time Zone. Kathy was pretty
excited to see this place as she gets a lot of recipes from the “Taste of
Home” books & I am the lucky guy to enjoy eating those great tasting

We watched a movie on how Roy Reiman & his wife started up the magazine
publication business to begin with & how quickly it grew into the 14
different magazines per month business it is today. Then we checked out
the many innovative birdhouses & feeders on display throughout the center.
Also in the visitors’ center, a full collection of the Norman Rockwell
magazine covers; that in itself was so amazing to simply walk around &
look at.

But….the downstairs outlet store was awaiting Kathy’s interest & she saved
the best for last. Being the prudent purchaser that she is, she was only
interested in the previous yrs cooking books that she could use @ the
greatly reduced prices. We were both happy to have visited this most
interesting town & learn more about the Reiman publication business.

From Greendale we drive to the heart of downtown Milwaukee, do a grid
pattern up & down the streets & check out the town. It’s an older city
with obviously a lot of history that we’ll just have to read about @ a
later time. Back to our bus around 6:40pm.

7:45 dinner: Tuna cheese casserole (recipe from one of the newly purchased
books), spinach salad & toast.

No movie tonight…..we retract our slides early evening due to light rain &
later, turning into heavier rain.

High temp:? Lights out: 10:52pm

Awake: 5:52am Temp 61 sleep 6+14 partly sunny
Elevation 830’ overnight @ Fort Wayne, Indiana

We are in site #7; easy to get into but could be challenging to get out,
especially going in the forward direction. However, when retracting the
slides last night, I checked several of the rear sites & they were
unoccupied…. & they remain so this morning. So with Kathy’s help, I back
out, make a 45 degree turn & then straight ahead to the street.

We leave the Johnny Appleseed campground @ 9:02 under overcast skies to
begin with….then gradually becoming partly sunny. The 1st 100 miles or so
this morning was great: beautiful Indiana farmlands, steadily fast moving
traffic & very smooth roads on hwy 30. Then approaching the town of
Valparaiso, everything that was nice seemed to change quickly to
not-so-nice. Traffic was like an accordion, traffic lights every mile
without synchronization, cars jumping in front of my protective space,
etc. Unfortunately, this scenario continued into Illinois & northbound
into Chicago, where the heavy construction slowed us down to a snails pace
in the merging of 3 lanes into 2. South Chicago paralleling the “L” system
was all torn up with dozers, earth movers, cranes, etc. I thought coming
through here @ 2:30pm would be a breeze, ha!

Kathy knows this area & reminds me that maybe 2:30am would have been more
of a breeze but not now. So the Dan Ryan “Expressway” doesn’t always live
up to its name. Finally we reach the downtown area & the Kennedy
Expressway. Now our speed picks up to a faster pace…..then the Eden
Expressway & our speed returnes to a normal flow.

We arrive @ the Milwaukee State Fair RV Park @ 3:38pm. 2 stops en route,
both routine.

Today’s travel: 6+07 time 256 miles 32.3 gal used 7.92 mpg
44.6 avg speed.

Our campground is like a large concrete parking area with hookups.

8:15 dinner: Leftover pasta, baked chicken, broccoli casserole (all of
this from Jean) & our own toast.

Evening time: watch national news & weather.

High today=82 Lights out: 11:13pm


Awake: 4:54am Temp 57 sleep 5+27 partly sunny…then rain.
Overnight @ Navarre, Ohio

Our camping site # 52 works well for pulling out. We leave Baylor Beach
Park in Navarre @ 8:50am. 95 % of our travel today was on route 30 & I was
amazed @ how smooth & scenic this hwy is. We make one rest stop en route.
Arrive @ the Johnny Appleseed Fort Wayne municipal RV Park @ 1:10pm.

Today’s travel: 4+05 hrs 204.5 miles 27.8 gal used 8.26 mpg
51.1 avg speed.

We park initially on the street, walk the 31 site campground with Gale,
the campground host, & then select the site we think will work best for
us. Gale approved of this maneuver as this park is really not big rig
friendly. The sites are mostly well shaded with tall trees (no satellite
TV here) & gravel parking spots. After plugging in, leveling & bringing
out our slides, we shower @ the campground facilities so we don’t have to
clean up our own shower.

With the help of Gail & Ed, the campground hosts, we have written
directions for finding Kathy’s ole friend Jean & her husband Joe, both who
attended our wedding some 35 yrs ago & whom I haven’t seen since. Kathy
has kept in touch with Jean thru cards and e-mail but has not seen her for
23 yrs. Their first meeting occurred in 1965 when they spent 3 months in
Bogota, Colombia, working with a Catholic missionary group.

I was greeted with a good handshake & a cold Guinness beer from Joe. I
wouldn’t have recognized either of them….its been too long. They had many
questions; we had some answers. Our jaws were busy. Jean loves to cook &
her gourmet meal was well prepared for our arrival.

6:00pm dinner: Baked chicken breasts, breaded pork loin slices, broccoli
casserole, pasta casserole, & bread…..served with wine. For desert: fresh
strawberries with ice cream. What a meal! Very, very good.

They were so curious about our “home-on-wheels” lifestyle that we had to
agree to a tour after dinner. We followed them back to our Johnny
Appleseed Campground & there we gabbed for another 1.5 hrs. They both work
tomorrow so we gave our “thanks” for a great meal & the opportunity for a
visit. Add them to the list: more really nice people.

We retract our slides before going to bed in the unlikely event of rain.

High temp=? Lights out: 11:38pm

Awake: 5:33am Temp 52 sleep 6+28 sunny overnight @ Navarre,

Call Judy again & leave a message. Call Mark…. “If its ok, we’ll be over
early afternoon” I tell Joan. Then she invites us to have dinner with

Call the campground in Denver we stayed @ last September; talk with Carol
about a reservation sometime in early July.

Program our GPS for the Johnny Appleseed Campground in Fort Wayne, IN.

Drive over to the Boron home @ 2:30 & spend the remaining afternoon & part
of the evening with these folks + Stephen.

At one point, Stephen needed a little extra attention so I volunteered to
show him how to make a more sophisticated paper airplane. With Mark’s
help, Stephen made the paper folds as best as any 5 yr old could but his
plane, when finished, looked like it already had crashed but not yet
burned. Mine however, was neat, clean & aerodynamic looking.
Would you believe: Stephen’s plane flew better & farther then mine? He was
overjoyed & so was I.

6:05pm dinner: Pork ribs grilled by Mark, parsleyed red potatoes, salad, &
home made wine. Joan serves a rhubarb dessert she made from a “Taste of
Home” recipe; it was delicious.

After dinner, Mark & I got into a long-drawn-out computer discussion which
we finally solved & wrapped up the evening with.

It was good visiting with Mark & Joan on this trip. We had many
interesting discussions, tossed endless theories around, told some great
stories & reminisced the so-called: “good ole days.” They are really good

Back to our bus @ 8:40pm. We retract our slides before bed time in the
event of rain.

Watch late evening movie: “Raw Deal.” We shouldn’t have! It was not our
kind of movie. Too much killing & blood scenes.

High temp=? Lights out: 11:27pm

Awake: 5:05am Temp 48 sleep 5+55 sunny overnight @
Navarre, Ohio

Drive to the Mark & Joan home to be there @ 7:00am. The plan is: Kathy
will hang out with Joan & Stephen this morning, & I will ride with Mark &
join the monthly rendezvous with his 3 brothers for breakfast. Today we
meet @ Ferraros Restaurant. Each month the next brother in line selects
the restaurant of his choice.

The brothers: Eldest to youngest: Linus, a successful & retired dairy
farmer; Bub, also a successful & retired technical shop teacher; Mark, he
too, had a very illustrious electrical engineering position & retired;
Don, a wizard computer programmer, did retire but was called out of
retirement to continue working on a special project. They all live within
45 min of each other.

I’ve know these guys for over 50 yrs so we have no difficulty in gabbing.
3.0 hrs later, we feel our table has been monopolized enough & it’s time
to move on. I just think it’s great the way these brothers keep in touch &
I was honored to be a part of it today.

En route back to Mark’s home, we stop & visit his father-in-law, Joan’s
dad. As we approach his house, we see him mowing the lawn using a riding
mower. His age: 96 & he is amazing. A long since retired clever machinist,
he has kept himself busy by making many amusing gadgets & devices that are
still being used today. His wife passed many yrs ago so he lives alone,
but his kids are nearby & often drop in for a visit just like we are doing
this morning. His kids also take turns having him to their homes or supper
and help him with some chores like laundry, house cleaning, etc. Inside
his home, the kitchen table only has space for one to eat at; otherwise
the table is cluttered with various tools & projects that he has been
working on. Likewise, the dining room table is also cluttered with tools &
projects. We return to the Mark & Joan home @ 11:30am.

Meanwhile, Joan, Kathy & 5 yr old Stephen haven’t been just sitting
around; they’ve been shopping @ (3) stores: “Once Upon a Child,” “Pat
Catan’s Craft Center,” & “The Yarn Shop.” They were all smiles as they
were carrying their spoils into the kitchen area.

During the afternoon, we all sit outside under the covered patio & gab
some more. Stephen was a little restless as the adult conversation dragged
on & on…He asked Joan if she could bring out the swing so “I can do
something besides being bored.” So Mark brought out the chains with the
swing seat attached & that entertained Stephen for nearly 15 min. Mark
pushed him & I pushed him….then I swung myself on this tall swing
apparatus setup. This was the first time in many yrs that I’ve done that.

Dinner @ 6:15pm in Massillon @ the Kozmo’s Grill (15 min drive). We drove
separate cars & Stephen rode with us in his transferable car seat. He’s a
good kid; very patient & cooperative for his age. K & I share a meat loaf
dinner with baked potato, carrots, gravy & salad. It was very good. We say
our goodnights & return to our bus while the Boron’s return to their home.
In the bus, we give Mark’s sister Judy a call but….no answer.

High temp=? Lights out: 11:05pm

Awake: 5:47am Temp 56 sleep 7+25 off & on again rain
elevation 984’ overnight @ Navarre, Ohio.

Drive to Saint Clement church in Navarre @ 7:45am to meet with Mark, Joan
& Stephen, one of their grandsons from Columbus, Ohio. Stephen is staying
with grandpa & grandma until Wednesday….a real treat for them & Stephen.
We attend the 8:00 am Mass with them, then follow them to Brewster (15
min) for breakfast @ the Station Restaurant. This building was originally
used to house the overnight employees of the railroad when passing
through. Now its ½ restaurant & ½ a RR museum which is free to the
restaurant patrons.

After that good breakfast & a little scrutinizing of the museum, we return
to our bus, make some phone calls to both of my aunts & cousins, then
begin working out today’s schedule for visiting them.

@12:30pm we drive to the Canton Regency Care Center & have a visit with my
94 yr old Aunt Bertha. She sure does not look 94, but does not see well
due to macular degeneration, does not hear well, and walks with the aid of
a walker. We talk about her new environment, her late husband, my Uncle
Johnny, her home which has not yet been sold, her younger yrs as a single
lady, etc. She talks well for her age. Then she leads us to another room
down the hall where my cousin Ester (88) is staying after moving in
yesterday. It was a good visit with both of them. We say our goodbyes &
hope to visit them again our next time through.

Next, we drive to Massillon & visit my 90 yr old, Aunt Aggie, & her
daughter, Betty Ann. My aunt A. is not doing so well; she also has macular
degeneration, wears a hearing aid which today, wasn’t working so well &
uses (2) canes for walking. Betty Ann did most of the talking, but when my
aunt did clearly hear our conversation, it was obvious to us she had not
lost her good sense of humor. After 1.5 hrs, we say our goodbyes & hope to
see both of them again.

En route back to our bus, Kathy gives my cousins, Roger & Michelle, a
call. We made tentative plans to have them rendezvous with us @ Baylor
Beach & bring Michelle’s sister, Kathy, along since she would like to see
our home-on-wheels. K & I each have a muffin before they arrive since we
skipped lunch today.

3.5 hrs later after a lot of funny stories, some reminiscing of times
past, some serious talks about Michelle & Kathy’s mother, Aunt Bertha, &
our travel plans, we say our goodbyes. We wish them “good luck” on getting
their mom’s house cleaned out & sold without too much pain & distress from
their mother who does not want to part with any of her “stuff”. They are a
fun bunch to hang out with without a doubt.

We skip dinner: instead Kathy makes popcorn & we watch a little TV.

High temp=70 Lights out: 11:10pm

Awake: 6:45am Temp 52 sleep 6+40 overcast overnight @ Nicktown

Melissa calls early to wish us a Bon Voyage. We call our nearest
neighbors, Chuck & Shirley & say our goodbyes for now. Kathy also calls a
little farther away neighbor, Barry & Bonnie Lou; they are not available
so she leaves a message, wishing them happy travels on their upcoming trip
and offering our goodbyes for a time.

Drive out of our Nicktown circular drive @ 9:55am. On our way out of town,
we see & wave to John, then Dave, then Al & Donna.

On Interstate 79 northbound, we get the motorhome washed by a huge dark
cloud for a good 20 min. Other than that, today’s travel to Navarre, Ohio
was relatively smooth with short downpours here & there. 213.6 miles &
approximately 4.5 hrs….with (2) stops, 1st @ a rest stop for an overall
check on all the equipment (it’s been 5.5 months since we’ve traveled)
which check good, & the 2nd was due to road construction.

We arrived @ the Baylor Beach Park in Navarre @ 3:00pm greeted by sunshine
& mostly blue skies.

After the Suzuki is detached from our motorhome & slides extended, we take
a 30 min walk around the park. This Baylor Beach hangout is privately
owned with a (2) acre water park lake & a one acre lake with paddleboats.
There is swimming, Funyaks & Aquabikes; 90' Tube of terror slide; 3 small
kiddie slides; a log roll; Buckets of water fun; Water fountains & 1 meter
& 3 meter diving boards. Also Miniature golf, volleyball, basketball,
horseshoes & 5 picnic shelters + a concession stand. Also there are 4
shelters & a large pavilion plus 60 camping sites. We’ve stayed here when
we were the only ones in the park; other times it was so busy & occupied,
a reservation was required & those lakes were overflowing with families.

6:15 dinner: Pork chops, baked potato, broccoli & cauliflower in cheese
sauce, spinach salad & toast.

After dinner, I call my Aunt Aggie to make tentative plans for a visit
tomorrow. I also call my cousins Roger & Michelle.

High temp=72 Lights out: 10:22pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 64 sleep 5+18 Foggy, then rain
overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to our community center & attend 8:00 am Mass before joining the
special coffee club members for 50 min. Today, Kathy brought a couple
dozen of her homemade muffins (2 different types, walnut raspberry and
mini orange muffins) for the coffee group as a going away present from
us…. & they love her for it. Well, not that they love us for going away
but…hmmm, maybe I should have rephrased that!

After breakfast, I change the primary water filter so as to have a clean
filter system to come back to in late August.

Call Rosemary L. & wish her & her husband Herm a “Happy 61st Anniversary.”
Also, I ask her if she is accepting any visitors this afternoon… “Yes we
are,” she says.
@ 2:30, we visit R & H & their daughter Lois & her husband Ray who are
also visiting & doing a little cleanup during their visit. We spend about
an hr talking with them, then wish them a happy day & we are off to the
city of Johnstown for more grocery shopping.

Conzatti’s Italian Market on Scalp Ave…..Market Basket also on Scalp
Ave….Wal-Mart of Johnstown just up the road… & the Wal-Mart of Ebensburg
because they carry my favorite organic milk @ Ebensburg. We make another
stop in Ebensburg for fuel for the thirsty Suzuki before returning to our
bus in Nicktown. Heavy rain accompanied us along our route back to our
bus. We unload the groceries, and then I take our garbage bag to the
dumpster, pick up Kathy’s re-heeled shoes from Nick T. in town & its
inside for the night for both of us.

Our refrigerator & freezer are literally “stuffed” with some good "stuff"
& barely enough room for our small water bottles.

Katrina called en route to her masters program approx 20 miles from
downtown Denver.

My sister Corinne calls to wish us a Bon Voyage.

8:20 dinner: Leftover stuffed peppers & Italian sausage, asparagus & toast.

We talk with Nick in Seattle about life with little Jerry.

High temp=? Lights out: 12:05am

Awake: 5:39am Temp 62 sleep 6+20 light rain overnight @

Walk to 8:00 am Mass & then join the poetic coffee club members for 40 min.

After breakfast, I do more of my organizational cleanup with papers &

@ 12:30pm we drive to Barnesboro & return Kathy’s magazines to the library
& then, drive to Indiana via Clymer to visit my cousin Andrea. She tours
us through her beautiful home where we admire the professional looking
paint blending she’s done since we’ve been here last. Next it’s down to
the basement where she’s having some workmen finish the sheetrock work,
bathroom plumbing & a new rug in the large recreation room. No doubt, it
will be a favorite hangout when they get it finished.

Andrea volunteers to drive us to Homer City (15min) where we lunch @
Sanso’s Italian restaurant & Deli. K & I split an Italian 6” sub sandwich.
After that yummy snack, we walk next door to their Deli & purchase some of
their Italian sausage & a loaf of Tuscan bread. Next to Martin’s grocery
store for yogurt & milk, then back to Andrea’s house. It was good seeing
Andrea & spending time with her. She’s doing some traveling this summer so
we wish her safe journeys as she wishes us. Back to our bus @ 5:10pm.

6:35 dinner: Italian sausage from Sanso’s, spaghetti sauce over pasta,
broccoli, mixed salad & toast.

After dinner, John B. from outside of Nicktown visits. We cover many
subjects during our (2) hrs of discussion. Interesting fellow…..I’m sure
we’ll talk more @ a later date.

Zack calls from Seattle; he’s been working a lot of overtime lately & he’s
doing fine. His friend, Katie, is arriving tomorrow night to help him
celebrate his birthday on the 4th and spend 10 fun days together.

High temp=? Lights out: 12:12am

Awake: 5:03am Temp 65 sleep 6+08 high thin clouds Overnight @

K & I walk to 8:00am Mass. Afterward, Kathy goes to the church hall and
volunteers to help make noodles which will be served @ the famous Nicktown
Homecoming Picnic September 3rd. According to Kathy, once a week for the
next (9) weeks, the ladies will continue to make these noodles. 275 lbs of
noodles are required for the soup that is served that day and another 200
lbs to be bagged in one pound bags to sell at the Fancy Booth.

I talk with cousins Bernie & Florentz before picking up our forwarded mail
from Alaska & then join the busy coffee club members for only 15 min.

After breakfast, I see our neighbor Chuck outside mowing grass so I walk
over & ask him if I might use his saw to cut some of those low hanging
limbs. He disappeared for about (5) min, came back empty handed & said:
“come on; let’s go for a ride in my truck.”
1.5 hrs later I have a hand saw but, more important, Chuck had given me a
tour of his tree farm, all 180 acres of it + his hide-a-way cabin. He has
talked about his special place for when his sons are visiting & where he
takes his dogs so they can run free, so finally I get to see it.

The next hr wasn’t near as interesting or fun; using Chuck’s step ladder &
my telescoping ladder, I was able to get most of those low limbs cut from
the trees that line Saint Paul Street & live to tell about it. Kathy came
sauntering down the road just as I was finishing up. She helped to drag
the limbs down to our field out of sight for burning later.

Its 12:45pm now; next project: rinse off the motorhome starting with the
roof, the slide tops & sides, front & rear cap. There was a lot of pollen
on the outside of our bus.

@ 2:15 Melissa, Matthew & Andrew arrive. Matthew thinks our motorhome is
too wide to drive on the highway so they are here to watch us make it
smaller. 1st though, we spend time inside where Matthew has a special
cookie from grandma, & I get to use the Flair vacuum cleaner with beater
bar that Melissa brought over for my use. After spending a little time
outside, its time to shrink the motorhome. We retract (3) out of (4)
slides while Matthew watches from inside, then outside. He seemed a little
nervous watching it from the inside; definitely preferred to watch from
outside. He seemed content now knowing that our bus will be ok to drive on
the highway. We say our goodbyes as we won’t be seeing them for about (3)
months….they leave @4:30.

5:40 dinner: Honey Dijon chicken, broccoli, tomato rice pilaf & toast.

Kathy watches some of the movie: “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” while
I talk to Katrina in Denver for an hr about a story she is using for her
Masters Program.

High temp=85 Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake: 5:51am Temp 65 sleep 6+29 sunny overnight @ Nicktown

K & I walk to 8:00 am Mass & then join the echoing coffee club members for
1.2 hrs. On our way back to our bus, we stop & chat with Chuck & Shirley,
our nearest neighbors. I ask Chuck if it would be ok for me to trim some
low limbs from his trees lining Saint Paul Street that will obviously be
scraping our motorhome roof when leaving. He ok-ed the idea but insisted
that he help me with the project. I wouldn’t let him do that as he’s
already done more than enough for us. “If you would” I tell him, “just let
me use your ladder & hand saw.” “Tomorrow” he says.

After breakfast I make several phone calls to some local people in town &
drive to Barnesboro for a few quick errands.

My sister Corinne arrives @ 5:10pm for a visit & dinner. We talk for
awhile updating each other since we last met. She’s been a busy girl.

6:40 dinner: Pretty cold peach soup, stuffed peppers, spinach & Romaine
lettuce salad & toast and cantaloupe for dessert. It was one delicious
meal & a splendid visit with my sister, Corinne. She leaves @ 8:05.

Evening movie: “Sounder.” This would have been an interesting film to
watch but we had a few phone calls that took our attention away from the
story….& which were more important than a movie anyway.

High temp=87 Lights out: 10:55pm

Awake: 4:37am Temp 57 sleep 5+33 Sunny overnight @ Nicktown

We drive to 8:00 am Mass which was dedicated to the living & deceased
local veterans in the area. A lot of uniformed guys, their wives &
children attended this Mass.

The famous Nicktown Memorial Day parade & dedication begins @ 9:00am. This
is why we drove to church in lieu of walking….it gave us a little more
time to change into lighter clothing, get the camera, hat, water bottle,
etc., then walk back to the main area of town.

This Nicktown parade for yrs has kept the reputation of being well
attended & today is no exception. Estimates of close to 1000 people were
lined up on both sides of the main parade route, the parking lots, in
front of the school, the church & the cemetery.

Candy was thrown for the kids from the passing wagons, fire engines,
tractors, etc…..& something we have never experienced before: travel size
toothpaste tubes from a local dentist were also tossed to the crowd. K & I
managed to scarf up (2) tubes each. I thought it was a great idea.

@ the cemetery, the sound system was tested & a welcome to the dedication
by Bill M. who just happens to be a distinguished member of our coffee
club group I might add. Then Father Job gave the invocation. Next a
POW/MIA flag recognition followed by a music selection by the Northern
Cambria High School Band. Next the distinguish guest speaker: Raymond A.
L. spoke for about 10 min. Then the Memorial presentation was made…a
veteran’s prayer…floral & wreath presentation….fire queen recognition….
salute to the dead…taps with echo….the National Anthem & the closing
prayer by Father Job + closing comments by our coffee club MC, Bill M. A
loud applause was heard throughout the cemetery for a job well done.

K & I mingle with some of the crowd for maybe 45 min afterwards.

Back to our bus for breakfast & then we drive to Indiana & visit with the
Foote family. Our timing was off as Melissa & the boys were napping &
Kevin was working on the Space Pak air conditioning system. He didn’t want
me to help…. “just relax…maybe read a magazine or something” he says.
Well, I was surprised to hear him talk like that….but K & I needed to do
some light grocery shopping anyway so we did. They were awake when we
returned & we spent the afternoon in the backyard with Matthew @ his small
pool. It was the best way for Melissa, Matthew & Kathy to keep their cool.
High temp in Indiana today was 91.

I was prepared to finish connecting the bathroom wiring into the main
breaker box in the basement but Kevin discouraged me from doing this & I
didn’t really understand why. Later, I was walking & looking around in
their basement & then I found out why: Kevin didn’t finish running the
wires thru the joists to the breaker box & he admitted it would have taken
at least (2) hrs to finish. So it turns out, he was really into running
more takeoffs from the plenum than running simple wires thru the joists.
He admitted the unfinished bathroom could wait but not the air

@ 3:30 Kevin had the outdoor grill in the back yard smoking: the 4:00pm
dinner of hamburgers, roasted ears of corn, baked beans, salad by Kathy &
all the condiments for our hamburgers made for a wonderful Memorial Day
treat. We also celebrated Kevin’s birthday early because we will soon be
out-of-towners. Back to our bus @ 6:30.

@ 7:00pm we visit my cousins Bernie, his (2) sisters, Ethel & Lou Ann, &
Lou Ann’s husband, Herk. We always have a good time talking with these
people & their side yard swing is the best setting for our talks. Ethyl
served us homemade brownies and Crystal Light blackberry drink; both quite
good. (3) hrs later, the air has cooled, the ladies are donning sweaters &
someone is getting tired. It was a busy & terrific day.

High temp=84 Lights out: 11:02pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 55 sleep 6+15 sunny overnight @ Nicktown

Kathy makes us each a different & hot breakfast. After that treat, I go
outside & take tire pressure readings on the (8) motorhome tires & (4)
tires on the Suzuki. Then crank up the Detroit Diesel engine &, using the
engine compressor & my long air hose, pump up a few tires that were a
little low & bring them up to the recommended specs.

Next, Kathy & I work together in filling our (12) empty gallon bottles
with fresh water from our well for drinking water, then store them in
various places in the basement. While she is helping me with the water,
she is also doing (3) loads of laundry.

And another next: I Velcro the dash cover securely to the dash with @
least 50 small sticky pieces. Now it won�t be sliding around during our

@ 3:10pm, Gary & Rosemary C. arrive. We sit inside for awhile having a
snack of mixed nuts with wine & plenty of updating talk. Then we drive to
the town of Clymer (25min) & have dinner @ the Stony Bank restaurant. K &
I share a filet with veggies, baked potato, & salad. It was a nice break
from having the ladies cook & the guys do the dishes. Our server was
really cute & most efficient: It was Ken�s daughter, Veronica,�.the guy
who let me use his John Deere tractor for mowing our field May 10th.

En route back to Nicktown, we tour the town of Alverda a little & find out
where Bill lives, one of our most distinguished coffee club members. Gary
& Rosemary also wanted us to tour them around Nicktown but I had to be
firm & remind them: �We just don�t have enough time for that now!�

High temp=78 Lights out: 11:04pm

Awake: 5:48am Temp 59 sleep 6+56 partly sunny overnight @

Report for work @ the Foote house @ 8:01am. We make some good progress on
the air conditioning again today. Kevin wanted to make another 3rd floor
to 1st floor run through a closet by noon time…. & that worked
great…thanks to his idea of: from the takeoff plenum, he ran the tubing
through the 3rd floor joist cavity, than down through the 2nd floor closet
inside a 4” PVC pipe to the dining room ceiling.

Our next run started from the east side end plenum above the unfinished
bathroom, down thru a wall space, through the 2nd floor cavity & also into
the dining room ceiling; another well planned idea by Kevin. He wanted to
get a 3rd run in yet today but my time ran out @ 4:01. Another 8 hr day &
no lunch. We leave @ 4:15.

Back @ the bus, we both take showers, then walk to 6:00pm vigil Sunday Mass.

7:40pm dinner: Leftover meatloaf, gravy, brown rice, mixed salad & toast.

Late evening movie: “Sayonara” with Marlon Brando. Extremely well acted &
heartwarming. 1957

High today=? Lights out: 12:46am

Awake: 5:16am Temp 59 sleep 6+29 rain—off & on all day
Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to our community center & exercise for 55 min before attending
8:00am Mass. Then join the thin coffee club members for 1.2 hrs.

After breakfast, for whatever reason, I felt tired…..& actually napped for
30 min on the living room floor. When I entered the bedroom, here Kathy
was sound asleep as well. Must have been the weather.

I spend some time on the computer & reading my magazines.

6:30 dinner: Tuna noodle broccoli casserole with toast.

Evening movie: “Battleground.” This rugged look @ WWII’s famous Battle of
the Bulge was a resounding hit during the late 40’s. Everything looks &
sounds real. Kathy wasn’t impressed however, she sneaked in a nap now &
then. 1949.

High temp=62 Lights out: 10:52pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 54 sleep 7+24 frontal system passes
through overnight @ Nicktown

K & I walk to our community center & join the fledgling coffee club
members for 45 min, then check for our mail @ the post office….. & back to
our bus by 10:15am.

After breakfast, Al picks me up for the Rotary meeting starting @
noontime. (2) stops en route: Bi-Lo for him to drop off a prescription,
then to pick up Anne in Barnesboro. In the parking lot @ Cambria Hills
Golf Club, we see my cousin, Max, waiting for his young wife, Diana. They
golf here frequently.

Rotary lunch today: delicious crab cakes, pierogies, salad, & cake for
dessert. There was a lot of talk relating to the Golf Classic that this
Rotary group is sponsoring on June 2nd. This fund raiser is the best thing
going for this rather small club: all the planning, soliciting of prizes,
donations, etc., take time & effort from these members--next yr I may be
involved in doing these things. (3) of the high school girls, who were
awarded scholarships, are here as part of their deal to help out with the
Golf Classic. The meeting lasted an hr longer than the norm. Al makes (4)
stops en route back to Nicktown of which (3) were solicitation calls. I
return to our bus @ 2:10pm.

I change clothes & continue my weed whacking from yesterday. After 20 min,
a break time is in order & time to chat with our nearby neighbors, Chuck &
Shirley…..then more weed whacking.

Meanwhile Kathy spent the afternoon grocery shopping in Ebensburg. When
she arrives home, I am finishing up the front yard area & getting ready to
move around to the west side. On the last bit of the east yard, the nylon
string on the weed whacker runs dry & I am out of business.

5:45 dinner: Leftover Italian sausage, noodles & toast.

My brother & his wife Josie stop in for a visit around 7:45pm. They just
returned from Hilton Head last weekend & will be traveling to Maryland
this coming weekend …so, with us leaving soon ourselves, we are happy they
had the time to get together. After (2) hrs of updating, we wish each
other safe travels.

High temp=71 Lights out: 10:47pm


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