July 2006 Archives

Awake: 7:14am Temp 63 sleep 6+48 overcast….midday, sunny
overnight @ Bothell, WA.

After breakfast, we visit the Friday Farmers Market & annual garage sale
held @ the Country Village area we were yesterday. Kathy checked the
produce prices & they were a little overpriced & many not grown locally.
We thought the garage sale items would be the usual: “stuff or junk” from
someone’s attic but…..surprise! Most things were new or in like new
condition. It was like store items that were overstocked, on the shelves
too long, or simply not selling. There were some good deals & it was tough
on us not to buy “things for later.” We survived with only a few small
purchases for Kathy & a new 3/8” cordless Makita for $5.00 for me. I
tested it first & afterwards & it works just great. The proceeds for this
annual garage sale will benefit the Homeward Pet Adoption Center. During
our browsing, Katrina calls from Denver. She just finished a tennis game &
will call us later with a phone number for a couple that recently moved to
Sequim from Alaska. Later Kathy calls Nancy in Sequim & sets up a time for
visiting on Saturday.

@ 6:00pm we leave to join the crowd for “Music in the Park Concert Series”
@ the Bothell Landing Amphitheatre. We each took a healthy power bar, sat
in our camping chairs & listened to some good ole fashioned folk singing &
music. It was really nice.
Every Friday, Bothell has music in the park during July & August.

Later we watch a satellite movie: “Nell” with Jody Foster while eating
popcorn & cheese. The death of a hermit woman brings a small-town Southern
doctor into the backwoods, where he discovers she had a daughter who’s
been raised completely apart from civilization. He becomes fascinated… &
so does a research scientist @ a nearby university, that wants to
“capture” the woman. Good movie for the curious & wanna-be linguists.

High temp=75 Lights out: 12:36am

Awake: 6:20am Temp 62 sleep 6+05 sunny overnight @ Bothell, WA.

After breakfast, K & I drive less than a mile up the road & visit the
Country Village Shops. Each of the 48 shops: restaurants, galleries,
antique shops, etc are individually owned & operated & each with its own
special flavor. We didn’t visit but a dozen of these, but enough to get
the idea. All the buildings are historical, some from the original farm on
this property, some being moved to this area, others rebuilt or renovated.
A lot of brick pathways with old fashioned lamp posts & benches connect
the various buildings. It was a neat experience.

Around 4:50pm, we start driving to Seattle…. neither the best time nor the
best route did we choose but, we did it for the want of some petro for our
Suzuki & we found our best price on hwy #522.

When we rendezvoused with Nick, Eriko & Jerry @ the condo, we found Zack
semi-conscience on the floor, fading in & out. He’s been burning the
midnight oil @ Isilon working until 2 or 3:00 am to fulfill a deadline
software project. He claims he’s more productive & his concentration
skills are sharper without the active daytime crowd present. The rest of
us have wine & a gab session letting Zack get a few more Z’s.

Around 7:30, Zack snapped to it, drank his small portion of wine &
volunteered to drive me to the local Trader Joe store for a milk run. Then
we take 2 cars (Nick & Zack’s) to the Ballard area & have a great dinner @
the “India Bistro.” Kathy & I share a Murgh Tikka, which is White Chicken
with sauce cooked a special way. We didn’t realize this @ the time, but
over a yr ago on June 4, 2005, we ate this same meal & loved it then as
well as now. Nick paid the bill & we all thanked him profusely. Jerry was
an absolute gentleman during our restaurant time. Eriko held him for
awhile while eating & then Nick took his turn. When Jerry protested for
hunger, Eriko fed him under the cover of a cape. Once fed and happy,
Grandma (alias, Kathy) got to carry him back to the car. After picking
up Kathy’s sunglasses @ the condo, we say our goodbyes for now & return to
our bus by 10:30pm.

K & I take turns using the computer & then watch the weather channel for
tomorrow’s forecast.

High temp=84 Lights out: 12:26am

Awake: 7:15am Temp 63 sleep 7+15 sunny overnight @ Bothell, WA.

After breakfast, we hike the campground trails: the west, upper & lower,
that circle this campground. It wasn’t much of a hike, only 30 min but
then we continued walking around the campgrounds looking @ all the RV rigs
in different parking sites.

In the olden days, this low-lying area we are now camping in was an active
Peat Mining business. Kathy & I Googled this business & found out a little
about what takes place:

What is it and where is it formed? Peat is rotted plants that have been
compacted. After many years, peat will become coal. Peat is made by
plants rotting in places where it is cool and there isn’t much oxygen.
This is usually swampy land.

How and where is it mined? Peat is mined using surface mining. Peat is
in bogs which is another name for a swampy area. The trees are cut down
and the water is drained out of the swamp. Then the topsoil is taken off
of the surface. The peat is uncovered so the miners start to take off
layers. Peat is found in the United Sates [Florida, Michigan, Minnesota,
& Alaska] and Canada, Finland, Germany, and Ireland.

What is it used for? Peat is put into soil to make the dirt richer and
grow things better. It is used in diapers and for oil spills because it
is absorbent. Peat is used for heat just like coal is used.

Interesting! Prehistoric people thought that spirits lived in the peat
bogs. They sacrificed humans to their gods there. 2000 year old bodies
have been found in the bogs. The bodies are preserved because the water
has acid in it and doesn’t have much oxygen.

Since 1985, this area called Lake Pleasant, has had some 151 RV camping
sites around the lake. Because there remains some Peat underneath the
ground in the campground, no ground level fires are permissible because if
Peat catches on fire, it can burn for a very long time. As long as it has
oxygen, it keeps burning until it is put out.

Yesterday I called & left a message for Connie & Glen who live further
north on I-5. This couple stayed directly across the hall from us during
our Asian Pacific Cruise last yr. Mid-afternoon, they return our call with
a plan for a get-together sometime next week.

7:50pm dinner: Pork Chops, broccoli, wild & brown rice with tomatoes,
onions & Craisins + bread with balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

Late evening: we watch a satellite movie: “Nashville” This highly rated
movie was a little difficult to watch. 24 characters involved in a
Nashville political rally, seemingly done in a free-form style, was
definitely not up to our high standards of entertainment. 1975.

High temp=84 Lights out: 12:15am

Awake: 6:01am Temp 64 sleep 6+58 sunny elevation 121 ft.
overnight @ Bothell, WA.

Kathy watches “The View” program on ABC starting @ 8:00am. After that, she
tunes in the movie: “Flight of the Phoenix” with Jimmy Steward, one of my
favorites. Try as I might, I could not ignore that movie being shown in
the bedroom; once too often I’d walk in there & watch a scene that I
wanted to see again after so many yrs have gone by….until Kathy hints:
"maybe we should have breakfast & watch the rest of this movie in the
living room." So I finally succumbed & finished watching the remainder
over breakfast.

I had to tell Kathy how Paul Mantz lost his life making that film during
1965. Later this evening, she Googled Paul Mantz & found more technical
information & pictures of that tragedy.

After lunch, we drive to downtown Seattle (35 min), park @ 1st & Lenora,
then shop for Nick & Eriko’s anniversary gift @ the World Market. After
that, we drive to Mercer Street, shop for a gift bag @ Bartells. Next we
drive up the Queen Anne hill, find a parking space & visit with Eriko &
our new grandson Jerry Youkoh for about 30 min before our boys arrive from
working @ Isilon. Jerry was sleeping when we arrived but eventually, he
woke up. He is sooo cute & keeps such good eye contact when one is talking
with him. We presented the anniversary gift to Nick & Eriko (wine glasses)
& some infant clothing for Jerry. Kathy washed the wine glasses & we had a
good gab session over the wine which Nick poured into the new glasses
before going to dinner. Eriko, Nick, Jerry & Zack all look good & happy.
Both boys appear content with their work with Isilon & like their new

Around 7:30 we start walking along Queen Anne Ave to the restaurant
“Vincenzo’s” for dinner. A nice casual 20 min walk….Nick pushing Jerry in
the stroller with Eriko @ his side & Kathy, Zack & I following. We sit
outside with sunshine & a welcome cool breeze to eat our dinner. K & I
share a Lasagna meal with a salad. We eat & talk until 9:00pm then walk
back to our car, say our goodbyes for now & return to our bus around
10:30. I-5 traffic was heavy & fast moving.

High temp=82 Lights out: 12:00 midnight

Awake: 6:08am Temp 70 sleep 6+24 sunny elevation 39 ft
overnight @ Kent, WA.

Using our site’s instant-on-phone service, we talk with Katrina while en
route to her school in Denver to tutor the 2nd grader this morning. She’s
doing fine &, of course, keeping busy.

Before we leave this higher priced KOA, we watch a family of 6 in a pop-up
camper + tent across the road in front of us; they gather their lawn
chairs, tent & other equipment, shrink the camper, load up their truck,
hitch up the camper & drive away. This was good for us because; yesterday,
they were gone but their tent, lawn chairs & equipment was blocking our
turning radius & thus, the extra maneuvering necessary.

About an hr before we leave, Kathy made a trip to the campground office &
on her return, started a conversation with our near neighbors to the west.
Dale & Fran from St Petersburg, Florida are interesting people, so I too,
join in the conversation. Nice people; we both had a lot we could have
talked about.

It was no problem driving out of the most expensive campground site we
parked @ for a long time…. @ 11:20am. And our Detroit Diesel engine
started up nicely with only a wisp of smoke.

We take hwy 212 to I-405 north to the Bothell-Everett Hwy….arriving @ the
Lake Pleasant RV park @ Bothell, WA @ 12:10pm.

Today’s travel: 51 min 34 miles 5.4 gal used 6.3 mpg
43.2 avg speed

We’ve heard nothing but good things about this campground from other
RV’ers so our expectations are good. Unfortunately for us & fortunately
for them, this campground is extremely popular & we were not able to get a
reservation for a campsite until 5 days ago. The line was always busy or
the office was closed. Consequently, only 1 campsite was available & we
took it.

Well, we thought our maneuvering @ the KOA yesterday was close; this
parking site was not meant for 45 footers. After 2 tries & 30 min later,
we finalized our parking.

After lunch, I call the boys to let them know we are in town & if it’s ok,
let’s get together tomorrow. Meanwhile, using the Suzuki, K & I tour this
small town of Bothell & do some very light shopping @ the QFC grocery

7: 10 dinner: Parmesan chicken with spaghetti & sauce, mixed salad, bread
with balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

2 movies tonight: “The Third Man” with Joseph Cotton, Orson Welles, Alida
Valli, Trevor Howard, etc. Considered by many to be the greatest suspense
film of all time & inevitably turns up on every best-film list. This guy
Cotton tries to find an old friend & learns of a vicious European black
market organization…..which unfortunately for him, makes him a marked man.
This flick is good but do watch closely. 1949

“Foreign Affair” with Billy Wilder, Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, etc.
Jean Arthur is sent to Berlin to investigate post-WW-2 conditions, finds
romance instead with hot competition from Dietrich. A little schmaltzy but
most interesting was seeing the bombed out ruins of Berlin after the war.
Now, were the sights for real or Hollywood props? 1948

High temp=95 Lights out:11:03pm ,

Awake: 6:01 Temp 72 sleep 6+53 sunny overnight @
Portland, OR.

We have a small breakfast, retract our slides, reel in the shore power
cable, start the Detroit Diesel which starts right up & leaves only a
small puff of smoke, attach the Suzuki…. & leave the Columbia River RV
Park @ 9:35am.

We sure enjoyed our time around here; visiting people, hiking, seeing
different things, etc. It was wonderful!

The Northbound I-5 hwy to Seattle is much improved since we bounced our
way south just last yr. Even on a Sunday, this hwy is heavily traveled. We
arrive @ the KOA of Kent, WA @ 12:30pm. Although our campground book
stated this place is BIG RIG friendly, it was another tight site with
extra maneuvering required for parking.

Today’s travel: 2+56 time 157 miles 19.9 gal used 7.83 mpg
53.2 avg speed We had 2 traffic slow-stop times en route.

Once parked in our site, we basically stayed indoors with the cool air
conditioning the remainder of the day, merely taking turns using the
computer & reading. Included in our site cost is the “instant-on-phone”
service which we like & can both talk @ the same time.

7:20 dinner: Fresh frozen AK Salmon, canned roast beef with gravy, brown
rice with tomatoes, broccoli, spinach salad, bread with balsamic vinegar &
olive oil.

I call Bill in Anchorage; we update each other.

We call Nick in Seattle & wish him & Eriko a “Happy 1st year Anniversary!”

Satellite movie: “Secret Window” with Johnny Depp. This movie might
appeal to avid JD fans or lovers of the weird and horror genre, but it was
not to our liking and we don’t recommend it unless you fit into one of the
afore mentioned categories!

High temp=98 Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 6:10am Temp 77 sleep 5+00 cloudy….then sunny
overnight @ Portland, OR.

After breakfast we drive downtown, park our Suzuki @ 26th Street & Raleigh
near Wallace Park & start hiking Cornell Road to the Wildwood trail
leading up to the Pittock Mansion. On Cornell Road, there were 2 tunnels,
the 1st was completed in 1940, the 2nd 1941 & they were both built with an
alternate bike route so one could avoid using the tunnel.

The overcast sky has been keeping the temp down & that was good. @ the
Mansion, we admire the manicured grounds, flowers & the commanding view of
Portland, with it’s suburbs & distant mountains. During the early 70’s
when we lived in Vancouver, we toured this mansion thoroughly so we didn’t
need to repeat the process.

We take a different return route to our car so as to appreciate the varied
architecture of the beautiful homes built on the West Hills. In fact, our
route was: starting on Beulah Vista, left on Macleary, right on Albemarle,
right on Roanoke, left on Mayweed, right on Melinda, left on Marlboro,
right on Westover to Doner, then follow 25th Street to Wallace Park where
we have our Suzuki parked. It was a good 2 hr hike.

We both shower using the campground facilities; then attend 5:00pm Mass @
Our Lady of Lourdes church with Rochelle, Monica & Maggie. It was very hot
inside the church (no air cond.): Monica frequently fanned herself and
Kathy with a church envelop but both she & Maggie handled the heat pretty

We have been invited to join in the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School’s
50th anniversary celebration tonight. This is excellent because now we
will have the opportunity to visit with Shirley’s oldest son, Glen, his
wife, Lynn, & their children, Rachel, Andrew & Jonathan from the state of
Indiana; Shirley’s youngest son, Darren, his wife, Leslie, & their
children, Josh & Meredith from Salem, Oregon; plus Rochelle & Dean & our
young buddies Monica, Maggie & Donovan & of course, Shirley & John. It was
a nice reunion for Shirley’s family & chances are they will be seeing some
of their classmates tonight who also attended O.L.O L. Catholic School.

The food was good, the music was great…but a little loud & the company was
fantastic. I finally did spend a little time with Dean who has been
absent, working each time we visited his family. I have to mention one
rather personal exciting moment for me @ this celebration: while I was
eating my dinner, Donovan walked over, tapped on my knee to get my
attention, said nothing but raised his eyebrows twice, smiled, turned &
walked off. I loved it!

And yes, this was outdoors with covered eating areas with water vapor mist
lines which helped a little in keeping the crowd less hot. K & I say our
goodbyes for now & hope to meet up with all of them again….maybe next yr.

High temp=high 90’s Lights out: 11:08pm

Awake: 5:31am Temp 67 sleep 7+04 sunny overnight @ Portland, OR.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass with Shirley @ Our Lady of Lourdes church in
Vancouver, WA; John was working on the renovation of their rental house.
Afterward, we invite Shirley to join us for breakfast @ the Peachtree
Restaurant on hwy 99 again. It was another good gab session with Shirley &
another good breakfast as well.

From here, K & I drive over to Rochelle’s home & spend (3) hours & (15)
min with her & their (3) kids. To start, we play another (2) games of
“WhooNU” with Monica & Maggie. Maggie plays the game well for being (5)
yrs of age; she does need a little reading help from Rochelle. Maggie was
delighted to show us a large box of her work from pre-school last year;
looks like she’s ready to tackle kindergarten!

Then Monica shows me the paper airplane she made yesterday with a heavier
paper. I wasted no time in giving it a flight test & it flew like “a
vulture” which is good. Monica quickly caught on to making these paper
airplanes. Although Donavan can’t as yet make these airplanes, he did
enjoy flying them.

Next, I demonstrate to Monica the “almost top-secret method” of
constructing the fast flying….jet paper airplane (FFJPA). Usually this
highly classified model is withheld until age (10) @ which time, kids can
usually handle the higher speed & longer distance the jet can fly. But
Monica is an exception; she has already exhibited the fast learning skills
necessary to withstand this advanced procedure.

Now we take the “vulture” & the “FFJPA” outdoors for more testing. Ouch,
the temp outside didn’t go over so well with any of us & quickly drove us
back inside to air conditioned comfort. Inside, we played our own game of
“fishing for imaginary fish” & I think maybe this was Donavan’s favorite
game as he kept wanting to “fish” some more and then be the “fish.” We
also launched the “FFJPA” even faster with the booster rocket method
(rubber band). Kathy & I had a lot of fun with all (3) of the kids; it
seems that with each visit, we are having more fun with them than the last

We leave around 1:15pm to consider hiking again in the West Hills of
Portland. It didn’t require complicated equations to figure out: with
temps over 100 degrees, hiking up & down hills is not being smart. We
remain in our air conditioned bus the rest of this day spending some time
going thru more of our mail, discarding & shredding 2005 papers no longer

7:20 dinner: Beef Nachos…..very tasty!

We watch a satellite movie: “The Verdict” with Paul Newman, Charlotte
Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason, etc. Boston lawyer, Newman, hit
bottom, until a medical negligence case gives him a chance to restore his
self-esteem while fighting for the kind of justice he still believes
in….it is a “make you feel good “ story you won’t want to miss.

High temp=104 Lights out: 1:10am

Awake: 5:09am Temp 64 sleep 6+03 sunny overnight @ Portland, OR.

My buddy Ray drives up @ 6:35am. He started out this morning from Ocean
Park, WA @ 4:00am. In lieu of us driving over to Ocean Park to visit him,
he drove over to spend the day & visit with us. Since he was coming to
town anyway, he figured he might as well pick up his new Lincoln welder
this morning from his long time pal, Dennis.

Kathy is already awake so we both greet Ray outside, then Ray & I zoom off
toward the town of Gresham to find Dennis, who owns H & L Corp & gives Ray
a discount on the welder. After a nice chat session with Dennis, Ray & I
head to the Delta Park area & have breakfast @ Elmer’s on Whitaker Road.

Then we return to our bus where Ray & I get our laptop computers & try to
figure out: why I can’t access the local WI-FI in this campground with my
built in wireless? The wireless hasn’t worked since being in Shasta City,
CA 4th of July, 2005. We spend over an hr checking different settings &
comparing configurations until Ray simply suggests: “try plugging in my
wireless card.” Bingo! I think my built in wireless circuit is kaput!

Kathy & I enjoy Ray’s company until he has to leave @ 3:30 for the drive
back to Ocean Park. It was terrific having Ray with us & we thank him for
the long drive from the coast for the visit.

5:30pm dinner: Meat loaf with gravy, broccoli, mixed salad & toast.

The remainder of the evening was spent going thru our freshly delivered
mail from Alaska.

High temp=90 Lights out: 10:27pm

Awake: 5:56am Temp 60 sleep 7+05 sunny overnight @
Portland, OR.

Rochelle calls early to report that Monica has a fever this morning so we
better skip our visiting the kids today. This virus has been going around
& Monica is the last of the family to finally get “lucky.”

Again we join John & Shirley for 8:00am Mass @ Our Lady of Lourdes church.
Afterward, Shirley invites us to their home for a breakfast of eggs, bacon
& bread with jelly. Then we look @ the picture album of John & Shirley’s
cruise from New York to Nova Scotia, September 2005.

Next we are invited (after some hinting) to see one of their rental houses
located in the area of Vancouver Lake that they are renovating. It was a
mess….after 15 yrs of renting & not much else. Luckily, Shirley’s brother,
Don, is a perfectionist wood worker & will be helping John in this
updating & renovation work.

After the rental tour, K & I go on “the hunt” to stock up our wine cellar
(closet) & take advantage of some lower priced wines in the West. Fred
Meyers in Vancouver had some of our 2nd choice wine @ a very decent price.
WinCo also in Vancouver had our 2nd choice wine….we bought all they had on
display. Safeway across the bridge in Oregon surprised us with…..too many
to buy all, but we loaded up sufficiently.

Around 7:30 dinner: salmon, baked potato, cauliflower with red pepper &
cheese sauce, spinach salad & walnut & cranberry bread.

Late movie via satellite: “The Chosen” with Rod Steiger, Maximilian
Schell, Robby Benson, Barry Miller, etc. Story of friendship between
Americanized Jew, Miller & Hassidic Jew, Benson. This movie was of added
interest to us after spending Shabat with our friends in WI. It is based
on a novel by Chaim Potok which Kathy read many years ago; the movie while
centering on Jewish issues transcends its setting to attain universal
impact. Definitely worth the watch.

High temp=84 Lights out: 11:06pm

Awake: 6:18am Temp 56 sleep 6+20 sunny elevation 36 ft
overnight @ Portland, Oregon.

We meet with Shirley & John @ Our Lady of Lourdes church @ 8:00am to
attend Mass. Afterward we (4) eat breakfast @ the Peachtree Restaurant in
Vancouver, WA on hwy 99. We gab for 1.5 hrs & get somewhat caught up on
“what’s new?” Then K & I visit Rochelle & her (3) kids: Monica (our
Goddaughter), Maggie & Donavan. Rochelle’s husband Dean is working. We
haven’t seen this family since last June, 2005. Our (2) hr visit included
playing a game of “WhooNU” with Monica & Maggie, & later, showing Monica
how to construct paper airplanes, then flying them in the house & outside.
These kids are well mannered & fun to be with. We make plans to visit with
them again tomorrow. Back to our bus @ 12:50pm.

After our lunch, we drive downtown in the Northwest area & park our car on
Glisan. Leaving the Suzuki parked, we start hiking the Wildwood trail in
the West Hills. We also followed Fairview Blvd to enjoy the different
architecture of homes throughout our trek. (3) hrs & (2) cell phone calls
later that we couldn’t receive because of the trees, we returned to our
Suzuki. We both ran low on drinking water during our hike but quickly
found a watering hole @ the Blue Moon Restaurant & Bar on 21st street &
Glison. The Stout beer tasted like more but…..we ordered food instead:
Kathy’s cheese steak on French bread disappeared quickly even tho she felt
there was too much bread for the amount of meat & my (3) pieces of beer
battered halibut with tarter sauce + coleslaw went slowly @ 32 chews
before swallowing. Coincidently, Trader Joes is conveniently located ½
block away, so Kathy shops for those rare items that only T. J. has
available while I go & get the Suzuki. We are back to our bus by 8:30pm.
Hiking in the West Hills was great; we will try to do it again during our
visiting time here.

We call Zack in Seattle: He was working late @ Isilon. What a guy! But
then, he admitted that he started late this morning.

High temp=? Lights out: 10:51pm

Awake: 5:08am Temp 60 sleep 6+23 sunny overnight @
Portland, Oregon

I am enjoying the cooler temps of the Pacific Northwest. The on-shore flow
of wind from the Pacific Ocean keeps the Portland, OR /Vancouver, WA area
comfortable for now.

Mid morning, a shopping we will go….for groceries @ Costco.

@ 2:30pm, Nate calls: he will be doing some kite surfing on Sauvie’s
Island today starting @ 3:30 for sure. He gives Kathy directions on how to
get there & where to park. We eat a good lunch before heading out to see
Nate. I had never driven onto Sauvie’s Island before today & we find out
there are many farms along our route with some good looking crops.

Nate gave us good directions. Arriving @ the chosen spot around 4:20pm, we
were surprised to find so many surfers just hanging around on the beach
with their kites “beached”……waiting for the right wind conditions to come
along. One surfer however, seemed to be doing great with criss-crossing
the Columbia River with what little wind was available. Kathy brought her
binoculars along & we finally identified the guy that keeps zooming across
the waters with ease: it’s Nathan.

When he comes ashore, we have a gab session & ask about the kite he is
using today: the 12 ft Cabrinha. He sizes up the wind velocity with the
kite size & today, he chose correctly. A lot of the guys on the beach
didn’t have a kite large enough to give them a good ride. We watched Nate
do his high speed runs & high jumps for nearly (2) hrs. Quite entertaining
& it was a nice day just to relax in our camping chairs & enjoy the
activity or lack thereof. Nate is working in downtown Portland at a kite
shop….selling & giving lessons on kite surfing. We were happy to have Nate
explain this relatively new sport of kite surfing & showing us the
ropes…..no pun intended. The 70 mile round-trip from our campground was
well worth our time to see & talk with Nate after, maybe, (8) yrs since we
last saw him.

8:00pm dinner: Stuffed peppers & mixed salad.

(2) movies tonight: “In the Heat of the Night” with Sidney Poitier, Rod
Steiger, Warren Oates, etc. Redneck Southern sheriff grudgingly accepts
help from big-city black detective in solving bizarre murder. Tough, funny
& atmospheric. (5) Oscars including Best Picture. You don’t want to miss
this one. 1967.

“The Odd Couple” with Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Fiedler, Etc.
Story of (2) divorced men living together; sloppy Oscar(Matthau) & fussy
Feliz(Lemmon). Funny! 1968.

High temp=82 Lights out: 11:58pm

Awake: 5:20am Temp 72 sleep 5+42 sunny overnight @ Boise, Idaho

Leave the HI Valley RV Park in Boise @ 8:15am. Good travel weather &
smoother roads once we enter into Oregon. I-84 has a lot of beautiful
canyon roads with ups & downs interspersed with plateaus; then along the
Columbia River & Marine Drive, it was absolutely breath-taking for miles.
(2) stops en route: a rest stop for comfort & Flying “J” for diesel fuel.
Arrive @ the Columbia River RV Park @ 3:30 pm local time.

Today’s travel: 7+36 time 420 miles 51 gal used 8.24 mpg
55.5 avg speed

Kathy calls Rosemary C. in PA for her birthday…..I talk with Gary C. a
little & get an update on how things are going on his vegetable & tree

I call Ray in Ocean Shores….to let him know we are close to his old
stomping grounds. He advises me to call his son Nate & work out a schedule
for viewing his kite surfing on the Columbia River tomorrow. Nate will
make a thorough check on the weather Monday & if it’s a go, will give us a
call about 2:30pm.

6:45 dinner: Tuna Steak with broccoli, mixed salad, bread with balsamic
vinegar & olive oil.

No movie tonight…..nothing worth our valuable time. So we watch the news &
later, some reading.

High temp=88 Lights out: 10:45pm

Awake: 6:45am Temp 71 sleep 7+00 sunny elevation 2646 ft
overnight @ Boise, Idaho.

Colleague, Mac, calls early…..he & his wife will pick us up @ 6:00pm @ our
camp site today.
A number of cell calls come in throughout the day & we make a few calls
ourselves. Oh, by the way, the SpacePak air conditioning system for the
Footes is up, & running plus being reasonably quiet & quite cool. They are
happy & we are happy for them.

@ 6:15pm Mac & his wife, Raynell, pick us up for the evening. Their (5)
acre ranch is only a (10 min) drive from our campground. 1st we ride to
the country club to which they belong (15 min) where we have wine before
dinner. Kathy & I share a fresh halibut dinner which was excellent. We
discuss the equation of who might be having the most fun & enjoying
retirement to the utmost. Mac plays golf daily with his cronies who he
admits are not serious golfers & are definitely nice guys. Raynell plays
golf on Tuesday, Mahjongg on Thursday & has other social commitments.
During Mac’s spare time he rides and tends to his horse & keeps their (5)
acre ranch looking good.

After we’ve had enough sitting time, Mac suggests seeing an overview of
the golf course & it was, indeed, an overview of some fantastic
landscaping. Wow!

Then to their gentleman’s ranch & home. Both very impressive, including a
lighted deep pond in the backyard with waterfalls, lily pads, & stocked
with Koi fish. I missed visiting Mac’s special barn and Kathy missed
seeing his horse which we realized as we were leaving; maybe next time.

They drive us back to our campground (10 min) & since they toured us thru
their home, which took about 30 min, we tour them thru our home, which
takes about 10 min. It was fun getting together with this couple again but
I’m still not clear as to who is having more fun in retirement! We’ll just
have to make another visit @ another time.

High temp=98 Lights out: 11:38pm

Awake: 6:38am Temp 68 sleep 6+16 sunny elevation 3148 ft
overnight @ Mountain Home, Idaho.

1st call this morning is from my colleague, Mac, in Boise. I haven’t seen
him since the yr 2000. We talk about a potential rendezvous in Boise

I call Wes in WY. He has made arrangements to have the Smith-Detroit
Diesel operation in Boise, ID finish our recall notice. Our appointment is
set for this afternoon @ 3:30, the only time they could fit us in. I thank
him for setting us up in Boise &, yes, we can make that 3:30 time work. I
also let him know about our “harder to start with a lot more white smoke”
experience we had when leaving his parking area early yesterday. He
suggested having the Boise boys take a closer look @ it. I program our GPS
for the Boise S.D.D. service bldg.

Meanwhile, we have things to accomplish during our short stay @ Mountain
Home. Kathy does (2) loads of laundry while I package those TracStar
components (Gyro & CPU) for shipping back to Florida. My sister Corinne
calls from PA during this time & unfortunately, I had been waiting for a
call from TracStar which I had to take when it came through, leaving me to
call my sis @ a later time today.

Then, a trip to the local post office to send off those parts, Albertsons
& Wal-Mart for groceries, then back to our campground.

Leave Mountain Home RV Park @ 2:00pm. Again it took (5) cranks @ (4 sec)
each time to start our Detroit Diesel engine. We were not impressed with
the Idaho roads we traveled on as they were rough.

Arrive @ the Smith-Detroit Diesel in Boise, Idaho @ 2:51pm. Today’s
travel: 51 min time 42 miles 4.75 fuel used 8.84 mpg
53 avg speed.

Mechanic, Dale, begins looking for my hard starting problem around 5:00pm.
He found a return fuel line leaking in air. A very difficult location
behind the engine, he spent over an hr replacing the fitting that was
faulty. Then another mechanic by the name of Scott took over & attached
the harness & sensor to complete the recall notice. We were finished @
7:10pm & there were “no charges.” During our idle time I called & left a
message for my sister Corinne as she was out for the evening. Kathy was
more productive: she perused the books & found a nearby campground for the
night, worked some Sudoku number puzzles & socialized with a woman truck

We leave the S.D.D. building @ 7:20. Arrive @ the Hi Valley R.V. Park in
Boise @ 8:07pm. More of today’s travel: 47 min time 19.6 miles
3.25 gal used 6.53 mpg 33.8 avg speed. We had a tight parking
site which required a few extra maneuvers to avoid messing up our new

10:07 dinner: Leftover Bratwurst with baked potato & mixed salad. No movie

High temp=90’s Lights out: 11:35pm

Awake: 5:43am Temp 61 sleep 6+11 sunny overnight @
Rock Springs, WY.

Dry camping is what people call this being parked overnight without any
hookups of any sort. These past (2) days is the only experience we’ve
really had of dry camping. It was ok. We would use our generator during
the afternoon & evening…..for cooking, cooling & charging the batteries,
then off @ night & through the morning.

I was looking forward to having an easy engine start with no white smoke &
smooth running engine afterwards but it took (5) tries….cranking the
engine for (4 sec) each time trying to start. Yikes! It appears that my
small problem has escalated into a bigger, nastier one. What did these
guys do? We decide to drive on regardless & plan on another Smith-Detroit
service operation to further solve this problem.

We leave the Rock Springs, WY area @ 8:25am. En route to today’s
destination, we stop @ a Blue Beacon Truck Wash in Twin Falls, Idaho to
have our home cleaned up on the outside. After that last dust job….on top
of the rains in Denver, it needed some professional attention. (3) trucks
were ahead of us for cleaning, so a total of 45 min later, our house
looked good again.

We arrive @ the Mountain Home R.V. Park in Idaho @ 4:35pm. Today’s travel:
8+06 time 431 miles 47.9 gal used 9.0 mpg 57.5 avg speed.

This RV park is new & is still being worked on. Their long pull throughs
(35X80), with grass separation (25 ft) between campsites, street lamps for
each site, easy off-easy on & wide streets make this a wonderful stopover
for a night or more.

Finally we have cell phone coverage again. Now the messages: One from Wes
in WY. He didn’t realize there was more to do for the recall notice, like
install a harness & sensor so call him as soon as feasible.

8:45 dinner: Boneless pork chop, brown rice, mixed salad, bread with
balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

Late evening: I send an e-mail to a colleague of mine who has retired in

Satellite movie: “That Thing You Do” with Tom Hanks, Charlize Theron, Bill
Cobbs, etc. A likeable story set in 1964 about some young people in Erie,
PA, who form a band that, improbably, soars to success with a hit record.
Good entertainment! 1996.

High temp=97 Lights out: 12:22am

Awake 4:43am Temp 60 sleep 5+43 partly cloudy Elevation
6287 ft overnight @ Rock Springs, WY.

We left a living room window open & deflated the bedroom seal around #2
slideout to give us some fresh air flow during the night. The road grader
stopped making dust around 5:00pm yesterday & the wind subsided
considerably throughout the evening, so our sleep was good without running
our auxiliary generator.

Wes, the shop foreman, signals us to drive around to the west side of
their building & back into the opened service bay @ 8:45am. (2) hrs later,
the only thing Scott, the mechanic found was a loose fuel canister which
he claims was breathing air. I drive the coach back to our camping tarmac
& park. (10 min) later, Wes asks us to nose up to a east side bay as he
just got work of a recall item from Detroit Diesel to reprogram our turbo
charger. (45 min) later, we return to our tarmac parking spot. We are
charged an hrs labor & released.

It’s a little late to continue our driving northwest now (early
afternoon), so we have lunch & then drive the Suzuki to continue our
downtown Rock Springs walking tour. Again the wind is blowing from the
west with a darkened sky, but we go anyway.

We didn’t get out of our car…..intermittent rain showers began shortly
after we arrived @ where we left off yesterday. It was no use; such an
interesting town with a lot of history…..something else added to our list
to resume @ a later date I think.

7:05 dinner: Bratwurst, broccoli rice, mixed salad & bread with balsamic
vinegar & olive oil.

Satellite movie: “Meet John Dow” with Gary Cooper & Barbara Stanwyck,
Walter Brennan, Spring Byington. A penniless drifter, Cooper gets caught
up in a newspaper publicity stunt. He is groomed & presented as the
spokesman of the common man by powerful men who manipulate his every
action for their own purposes. This movie was GREAT! Don’t miss it. 1941.

Late evening, another motorhome joined us on the tarmac @ the
Smith-Detroit Diesel building. Jack is also having his turbo charger
de-rated due to the recall notice.

High temp=90 Lights out: 11:32pm

Awake: 4:45am Temp 58 sleep 5+34 sunny overnight @
Rawlings, WY.

We watch satellite news while eating a small breakfast & then: leave the
Western Hills campground in Rawlins, WY @ 7:50am. This campground was
great! Easy off & on; level sites; instant on phones; miniature golf &
close to town + Archie & Mimi are here.

Smooth roads continue on I-70. Our destination today is not a campground
but a tarmac parking lot on the west side of Rock Springs, WY & we arrive
@ 9:53am.

Today’s travel: 2+03 time 114 miles 12.3 gal used 9.31 mpg 55.5
avg speed.

This is a Detroit Diesel-Allison Transmission Service facility & it’s on a
1st come, 1st served basis. I meet the shop foreman, Wes, & repeat my
concerns about our Detroit Diesel engine: overnight starting is not easy;
it cranks longer; sputters & runs rough initially when started & then
billowing puffs of whitish/blue smoke are emitted from the exhaust. After
that, it runs great until the next overnight stay. Wes hints that he might
not be able to get us into the shop today but he’ll try. “That’s ok” I
tell him. We’ll tour the town & find out why this area is booming.

After lunch, we open our windows to give cross air ventilation & maybe
keep our coach from getting too hot while we are downtown Rock Springs.
The coach is on battery power now that we are “dry camping” … no hookups.

1st stop, the Chamber of Commerce & the young girl behind the counter did
a great job. She pointed us in the direction of the famous historic museum
downtown that was built in 1894. This former Rock Springs City Hall
building featured electric lights from the day it first opened—unusual in
an era when many municipalities used gas lights. The museum was well
furnished with historical items from the early coal mining days & from the
Union Pacific Railroad Company that owned many mining camps & mines during
those days.

Today, they are surface mining something different in this region,
“Trona.” Trona is not a rare mineral but deposits of it that are in
mineable quantities @ a reasonable cost are rare. It’s a naturally
occurring mineral (sodium sesquicarbonate), “double salt” which is
much-needed because it contains soda ash—which is used to make glass,
paper, laundry detergents, etc. This is one good reason for the boom
growth in Rock Springs. The second contribution for the boom is butane
gas; it seems as though the wells were everywhere as we approached Rock
Springs from the east on I-80.

The museum was our starting point for the self guided walking tour. 47 old
buildings total to look at & read about & all of these located within a 2
mile radius. I couldn’t help but notice the air swirling around downtown,
the wind gaining speed with dark clouds forming from the southwest. At
times, I would take cover behind a tree while Kathy read about another old
classic building. She wasn’t bothered by the wind & fine dust blowing
about. I didn’t want to spoil our fun tour but it got so bothersome for me
that I had to insist we cease & return to our motorhome.

Well now, it was a BIG–BAD-GOOF! Leaving those coach windows open to keep
our home cooler cost us plenty…..of time. I thought the fine dust & wind
was strong downtown; where we were parked, stronger winds blew & to add to
our cooling, a grader machine was doing a terrific job of leveling a large
area of the desert ground about 500 ft from where we are parked & that
extra fine dust was changing the temperature & color of our living room &
kitchen. I spent 1.5 hrs vacuuming “everything” & Kathy spent 1.4 hrs
wiping everything with a damp rag & mop.

7:30 dinner: Dusty New York Strip Steak, rusty looking broccoli, leftover
brown rice pilaf & discolored toast.

(2) movies tonight: “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid” with Paul Newman,
Robert Redford, Katharine Ross etc. Delightful character study
masquerading as a Western; outlaws Newman & Redford are pursued by
relentless but remote sheriff’s posse. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

“Absence of Malice” with Sally Field, Paul Newman, Bob Balaban, etc. Sally
Field is a Miami reporter who writes a story implicating an innocent man
(Newman) in the mysterious disappearance & possible murder of a union
leader in this tense & thoughtful drama about the ethics of journalism. It
kept us both awake. 1982.

High temp=84 Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 6:19am Temp 50 sleep 6+20 mostly sunny elevation
6914 ft. overnight @ Rawlings, WY.

Kathy does (2) loads of laundry including our pillow cases. Early
afternoon, we drive downtown & take a tour of the Rawlins old
penitentiary, right in town. In operation for 80 yrs: 1901 thru 1981. Our
tour lasted over an hr & was quite interesting. Some 13,560 men & a few
women served time @ the old pen during those yrs. There were grim
reminders of life, tragedy, desperation, hope & death scrawlings on many
of the cell walls. I had my camera & covered the tour with pictures.

After that, we drove around town checking and taking pictures of other
famous landmarks such as the fantastic Ferris Mansion , Archie & Mimi’s
place, & the Catholic Church, St. Joseph. Back to our bus @ 4:30pm.

6:40 dinner: Leftover spaghetti chicken with whole wheat noodles, mixed
salad & bread with balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

Tonight’s movie via satellite: “Tom Jones.” This is a rambunctious, witty
& sometimes bawdy tale of a youth’s misadventures in 18th-century England.
It’s a British film so you have to listen carefully. 1963.

We call Nick in Seattle & chat for 15 min. They are doing well.

We also call & leave a message for Zack.

High temp=78 Lights out: 11:11pm

Awake: 6:20am Temp 60 sleep 7+00 rain throughout the
evening & night overnight @ Denver, CO.

Still light rain this morning. We have a light breakfast & then leave the
Flying Saucer campground @ 9:21am. Driving north on I-25 & not yet out of
the city, our cell phone rings: it’s Katrina & she tells us: “I just
watched you go by!” She was on her way to her church waiting at the signal
light on Mississippi Ave. How about that! It’s easy to miss seeing her
car, especially when driving thru rain, but not easy to miss our

Further up on I-25, the northbound traffic comes to a screeching halt.
It’s still raining & now quite foggy. While listening to our C.B. radio,
we learn of a pretty bad accident that has shut down both lanes of I-25
northbound. Those truckers are good: they have alternate by-pass plans in
motion. We exit the Interstate (no choice) & follow the big guys eastbound
for (2) blocks, then northbound with many ill-timed signal lights for
maybe 25 min., then back on the Interstate. The roads were smooth & the
rain consistent the remainder of today’s trip. We did a Flying “J” fuel
stop @ Cheyenne, WY which was planned due to a lower cost & arrive @ the
Western Hills campground in Rawlins, WY @ 3:03pm.

Today’s travel: 5+23 time 255 miles 33.8 gal used 7.56 mpg
50.7 avg speed

Our campsite has instant on phone service for local & calling card
calls….but no cell phone signals so we like this campground. After setting
up, I call my ole high school classmate & cousin Archie. His wife Mimi
answers & I let her know that we have arrived & would sure like to get
together. About 30 min later & during our wine time, Archie arrives at our
MH. I haven’t seen this guy since high school graduation &….he looks well
& happy. He joins us for some outstanding Swiss cheese & wine & we waste
no time in trying to catch up with each others life. Later, we follow him
to his home (5 min), meet Mimi & take a sneak tour of their 1903 classic
home. Then we ride with them to the Quality Inn for dinner @ the Fat Boys
restaurant, where Kathy & I share a meatloaf dinner & we continue to
explore the missing yrs of our lives.

After that good meal, it’s back to their classic home where we get the
high dollar tour & scrutinize the handy woodworking talents of Archie &
his wife Mimi. They have many family pictures of their children growing up
& now the grandchildren. Interesting enough, all (5) children, (3) boys &
(2) girls, followed Archie’s career by getting into the medical field.
Arch has been an M.D., specializing in family medicine, in Rawlings since
1969 & has a very substantial record. Their day is full tomorrow so we say
our goodbyes tonight & thank them for dinner and having us over; will stop
this way again when heading NW on I-80.

Today’s high=65 Lights out: 11:57pm

Awake: 5:18am Temp 65 sleep 6+03 overcast…then rain
overnight@ Denver, CO.

Before breakfast, I get the telescoping ladder & telescoping brush out of
basement storage, climb up on our roof & clean the slide tops off in the
event of more rain. Mid morning, we begin making cell phone calls: our
next campground; Archie Kirsch; Rock Springs, WY Diesel Service; my Sis,
Corinne(leave msg); my brother, Don(leave msg); my sister, Mary Jo, etc.
During these calls, we retracted our slides due to rain. Kathy was also
catching up on her phone calling using our other cell phone.

@ 1:30pm we leave for some light grocery shopping @ King Sooper (Kroger) &
Wal-Mart, then arrive @ Katrina’s place @ 3:00. While Katrina & Kathy go
downstairs to organize Katrina’s room a little better, I sit in the
kitchen upstairs, read my novel & keep a close eye on that fancy lamp
shade so it won’t fall to the floor during our visit.

Kathy & I attend 5:00pm vigil Mass @ Saint Vincent & de Paul church just
up the street. During Mass, we spot Rob & Kelly & their two beautiful
girls in church. Afterward, we talk with them outside. Kelly’s mom is
getting better. What a nice coincidence meeting up with them in church.
Back to Katrina’s place where Kathy rides with Katrina & follows me back
to our motorhome @ the Flying Saucer campground.

Some great Swiss cheese verities & crackers with wine before our 8:30
dinner of: Spaghetti chicken, mixed salad & bread with balsamic vinegar &
olive oil. Katrina & Kathy do the dishes while I ponder our next exciting
adventure northwest bound. It was another nice evening & a very nice week
of spending time with Katrina. We certainly enjoyed being with her. We say
our goodnights & goodbyes for now.

Today’s high=72 Lights out: 11:20pm

Awake: 4:58am Temp 63 sleep 5+58 clear sky overnight @ Denver, CO.

Katrina calls: we discuss a plan for the day. She would like to buy a
frame for her mattress & would like us to come along for ideas. This would
be after her tutoring of the 2nd grade student this morning. I tell her
that we will be grocery shopping @ the “Continental Sausage” store in the
Cherry Creek area & I could drop Kathy off @ her place to join her in this
“lady’s venture” while I take our groceries back to our motorhome & do
other things…..like read my novel. Then I will await her call & help with
the mattress frame if & when needed. Katrina likes the idea.

It took us a little longer to find the Continental Sausage store: things
looked different then when we were walking around during the Cherry Creek
Arts & Festival day. But when we did, we bought the right stuff & our
server, Penny, gave us ample taste samples of cheeses to help in the

Meanwhile, the ladies were busy. First they decided to launder the Roman
shades and curtains and to wash down the window frames, radiator, and
ceiling pipes (Katrina’s room is in the basement). About 3:15 they began
their shopping venture, but after 5 different stores they came up empty
handed. Katrina did like one frame at America’s Furniture Warehouse, but
it was out of stock; a new shipment arriving in early August.
Finally, about 7:00 they call to say they are almost finished shopping,
but plan to go back to Katrina’s and hang the shades, which have been
drying, back up on her windows.

About 8:35, soon after the rain started, Katrina and Kathy arrive. It was
planned to go to an outdoor movie tonight but with their late arrival and
the rain that is cancelled. Since it’s getting rather late for dinner, we
decide to just have crab cakes which Kathy had made earlier and popcorn to
munch on while watching a documentary of the “House on the Rocks.”

High temp=83 Lights out:11:15pm

Awake: 5:43am Temp 65 sleep 6+20 high thin clouds
overnight @ Denver, CO.

I call Katrina @ 8:35am….she returns my call @8:55. We planned to be
downtown Denver by 10:30 this morning for a free guided walking tour of
the city. When we picked Katrina up, she reported that it’s already too
late for the guided tour. The internet site she read stated the tour
started @10:30 but when she called the visitors’ center this morning, she
was told the tour started @ 9:30. Oh well, we wanted to avoid parking fees
& do more walking anyway.

So we park the Suzuki in a suburb about 17 blocks from downtown on Emerson
Street & start walking the nearby bike trail. It took us 55 min to get
downtown using that bike trail; no light signals to slow us down; no
dodging traffic, in fact it was very relaxing walking alongside the Cherry

Our first stop was the visitors’ center on the downtown Mall & they
strongly encouraged us to make reference to the Denver downtown walking
brochure & see it all @ our own pace.

1st touring stop was the State Capital building where we joined Marc’s
tour in progress for the 2nd & 3rd floors. He showed us the Senate & the
House chambers & talked about their typical schedule & how much money +
per diem they get paid for their service. This Capital building is
beautiful: lots of granite & plenty of heavy brass. The security was
invisible: plain clothes men & hidden cameras we were told. We came too
late for Marc’s tour of the 1st floor but we were happy with what we saw &

Next: the Denver Public Library & the civic center. A few blocks further
up the street @ the Brown Palace Hotel, a lot of ladies were having “High
Tea.” This B. P. H. was built in 1892 with a (9) story atrium topped by a
stained glass ceiling. It was a classy sight to behold.

Our next attraction was only minutes away: the Daniels & Fisher Tower.
Finished in 1911, this 325 ft tower was the highest building west of the
Mississippi @ that time. We didn’t know who to talk to about going up to
the top floor to see the view. There was an elevator, there were buttons
to push in the elevator & we like to push buttons. Number 20 seemed to be
our choice so up & away we go. @ floor 13, the elevator stops, the door
opens & a workman asks us what are we doing here? We explain that we are
curious to see the view & the building. He explained that this building is
undergoing renovation & is owned by private businesses….but, maybe it
would be alright to let you see the remodeled 14th floor & the view from
there. Special keys are necessary to go higher than the 13th & he just
happened to have a key & used it to make our day. We thanked him
profusely. We enjoyed seeing @ least one of the remodeled office floors &
the 360 degree view we had by walking around the outside structure. It was
also easy to “get a head’s up” on the local weather moving in from the
southwest. Our tour time could be shortened by this recent awareness. This
Daniels & Fisher building has loads of historical facts that we spent time
reading when descending down to the 1st floor again.

Hoping for a little more time before the weather moves in, we walk (2)
blocks to Larimer Square, a restored section of Denver’s oldest street
where 18 eloquent Victorian buildings that were once home to Bat Masterson
& Buffalo Bill Cody are located. It was wonderful to see these beautiful
old building being active again. After walking up & down the street &
admiring these classic structures, we stop @ a coffee & café shop for a
late lunch of tuna & chicken sandwiches. While sitting outside under a
large umbrella & enjoying the moment, light drizzle begins……time to get
out of town.

With Katrina’s experience of downtown procedures, we hop the free bus on
Broadway to the civic center, & then continue walking Broadway all the way
to Speer Blvd where we make the transition to the bike trail which follows
the Cherry Creek to 1st Ave & Emerson where our Suzuki is waiting for us.
We tried ignoring the drizzling rain but a few times we stopped under a
viaduct to avoid those heavier rain drops. We drop Katrina off @ her
place……then meet later @ a small restaurant called: “Mustards Last Stand”
on University Blvd for dinner & more gabbing. This is a restaurant that
Kathy and I discovered quite by accident a couple years ago where they
have authentic Chicago style Italian beef sandwiches; unfortunately to
satisfy their Denver customer base they have switched from hard crusted
Italian rolls to soft hoagie style buns. We talk until 8:45pm. It was a
terrific day of spending more time with Katrina, seeing the downtown area
& getting some good talking & walking in.

Today’s high=80 Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 62 sleep 6+16 sunny overnight @
Denver, CO.

Katrina is busy this morning tutoring a 2nd grader in math. Tom & Marge
are busy baby sitting Rob & Kelly’s (2) children……seems like a dandy time
to look for a replacement light shade for the one I was guilty of

1st to Home Depot: none suitable. We ask Ken @ the service desk for ideas
& directions to a more specialized lighting store. With the help of the
yellow pages & Ken’s knowledge, he gives us (2) choices. The 1st choice &
the closest (name forgotten) we couldn’t find? A Costco store was found so
we did some light shopping & food tasting during our short visit. Next,
the “Foothills Lighting & Supply” store on Santa Fe Drive. It’s a BIG
store with many choices but NO antique shades that would match our
description. We talk with Jeff about a shade that “might” come close to
the original but he needs the base measurements first, then he’ll check by
computer if that one is available in stock.

Now we are close to Katrina’s hangout so we call, leave a message & park
our Suzuki nearby on Gaylord Street. Some 30 yrs ago this area was a
shopping district & today, most of the stores remain & it’s still a local
specialized shopping area, save for the old movie theatre. As we are
walking Gaylord Street, Katrina calls: she invites us over for a super
good smoothie & of course, we accept + I take the base measurement for the
light shade & leave a message for Jeff @ the “Foothills Store.” Then it’s
back to the small shopping area, Old Gaylord, & we three casually walk the
streets & go into a few stores out of curiosity. In one store, I ask a
lady about antique light shades: she recommends a store by the name of
“Modern Bungalow” (10 min) away. Alright, perhaps another lead, so Katrina
returns to her pad to finish her laundry while K & I check out another

Inside the “Modern Bungalow” store, the owner looks thru her book on
antique shades & reminds us that shipping from New York will take (3) days
or more. A sad look comes over our faces but then: “just a minute!” she
says as she opens a desk drawer & makes a phone call. “These people may
have something close to what you’re looking for.” She sends us up the
street to the “Bonnie Brae Repair Shop” (12 min). Within (5) min, we have
a light shade that Rick feels certain will fit our base & even writes a
return agreement in the event it doesn’t. Back to Katrina’s place we go,
using the chair & some careful maneuvering, the light shade is mounted in
place & secured down by (3) tightened screws. Although not exactly as was
destroyed, this shade looks good, phew!

Marge had called earlier to let us know: the 4th of July cookout party
will now be held on the 5th @ her daughter Kathy G’s apt. Kathy & I are
on our way…..Katrina will follow soon.

Upon our arrival @ Kathy G’s party place (apt), we find Marge, Tom & Kathy
G. casually drinking a beer. We’re offered a beer but choose to wait for
wine. Katrina arrives 30 min later. After sitting and talking for a while
in Kathy G’s living room, its wine time; I carefully pour and we all toast
to our friendship and families. Tom declares it is hamburger grilling time
so he and I go out on the deck to start the gas grill. Marge and Kathy G.
had already cut up tomatoes and onions and had potato chips and other
condiments on the table ready to go. I humbly requested and received
“thick” hamburger patties for Kathy and me so they could be cooked “med
rare.” Somehow smoke must have gotten in our eyes as Tom’s thinner
hamburgers were a rather dark shade of brown and my thick hamburgers were
barely pink! None-the-less, they were still good. While the hamburgers
were cooking, I detected Marge heating the baked beans and corn. We ate
and talked another hour away and then Marge served cantaloupe and
cherries. She insisted that on a 4th of July celebration, even if on the
5th, would not be complete unless we ate watermelon, but as we were all
quite full, we could not be persuaded. Some more talk and it was time to
say our goodbyes for now. We had a wonderful time with Marge, Tom, Kathy
G. & Katrina and look forward to our next get together.

Today’s high=82 Lights out:11:29pm

Awake: 5:05am Temp 62 sleep 5+38 sunny, then heavy rain mid
evening overnight @ Denver, CO.

Kathy & Katrina talk via cell phone around 9:00am about: “what to see & do
today.” En route to visit Katrina, we stop @ the nearby McDonald’s to
return her rented DVD, “Annapolis” @ the 24 hr DVD return station. The
McDonald’s chain in Denver has this business of renting DVD’s for $1.00
for 24 hrs; a simple & fast service for movie watchers….like their food

Katrina takes us on a (2 hr) walk thru Washington Park (2 blocks from her
rental place). We walked this same park with her last September 17th & it
was just as enjoyable now as it was then. Many people take advantage of
this park: we see bikers, roller bladers, runners, joggers, dog handlers,
group & family picnickers (esp. on this 4th of July) etc.

Back @ Katrina’s rental, I am keenly aware of the heat building up inside
the kitchen with no cooking or baking in progress. Katrina doesn’t know if
the ceiling fan works or not so I take it upon myself to switch it on. The
light works so I pull the chain for the fan & down falls the somewhat
antique glass light bulb shade…..smashing to smithereens on the tile floor
below. I felt bad….but hey, the ceiling fan works now. Around to the side
was a small speed control knob that needed to be rotated. Dah! I’ll be
buying a replacement shade soon!After that, Katrina shares her fresh fruit
with us: blueberries, raspberries & Bing cherries.

Next, a shopping we will go…to the “Whole Food” store (10) min away. This
store carries a lot of organic products which we find difficult to find in
other places. Katrina selects a slice of Greek pizza which we share
outside while being entertained with dark clouds billowing up &
approaching the area from the southwest. The (3) of us are back to our bus
@ 3:45.

Just as we exit the Suzuki, Marge calls: here in Denver, her son Rob’s
mother-In-Law, Shelly, was rushed to the hospital this afternoon in a
semi-conscious condition. Now Marge & Tom are baby sitting Rob & his wife
Kelly’s (2) children. So far the doctors are not sure what’s wrong with
Shelly. Our 4th of July party with Marge & Tom has now been put on hold.

We invite Katrina to have a shower in our bus & then stay for a splendid
7:45pm dinner by Kathy: pork tenderloin, brown & wild rice, broccoli &
cauliflower in a cheese sauce, Waldorf fruit salad & bread. I do the
dishes while Katrina & Kathy search for cheap air fares for Katrina’s trip
to Italy with a stopover in England to visit her friend Star later this
summer. Heavy rain with some flooding has been reported in the Denver
area. We take Katrina back to her rental place around 10:30pm &,
fortunately, only minor flooding could be seen along our route.

Today’s high=83 lights out: 11:04pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 66 sleep 8+04 partly sunny elevation
5200 ft overnight @ Denver, CO.

I must have been tired….it’s rare that I can sleep close to 8 hrs. My
wake up @ 5:15am was erased by rolling over & falling asleep again.

We meet with Tom & Marge, their daughter Kathy & our daughter Katrina @
“Le Peep” restaurant on Colorado Blvd @ 8:00am for breakfast. The food &
catch-up chatter were both great. From here, Katrina & Kathy G. drive
around awhile looking @ condos, then back to their respective rental

We senior people ride in Tom’s car to the Cherry Creek Mall & park inside
the garage. Then walk thru the mall & a few short blocks further to where
the outdoor gallery setting for the 16th annual Arts & Craft Festival
begins. Some 2300 artists submitted applications for this yrs event. We
casually spend 7 hrs sauntering around & viewing the creative works of:
ceramics; digital art; drawings; fiber; glass; jewelry; metal works;
painting; photography; sculpturing; wood, etc. There was live
entertainment with modern music & free glasses of ice water with a Bing
cherry inside. It was well attended & we were glad we agreed to see this
event after turning it away yesterday.

Then it’s back to the mall for a cooler experience. It was a hot (4) hrs
walking around outside under the sun. Tom & I had many interesting talks
about family, life, aging, etc during our strolls outside @ the Arts
festival & also inside the cool mall while the girls do their looking & we
do the sitting.

Katrina calls to ask Kathy & me if we can visit her rental house, have a
tour & then check their hot water heater; it’s not working. “Sure” I tell
her. “We’ll be there within 40 min.” Tom & Marge need to get back to their
daughter’s apt anyway to take care of their dog, Finnegan, so they drop us
off @ the La Peep restaurant where our Suzuki is parked. We get some
directions from Katrina to her place & we are on our way.

It was a short drive in some very nice neighborhoods to Katrina’s hangout;
she tours us thru this 1920’s or older home that these (4) girls are
renting. Each of them has rather spacious bedrooms with plenty of storage
space nearby. We meet Jenny, who Katrina pals around with a lot. Katrina’s
room is in the basement which she likes a lot: cool in the summer, warmer
in the winter. I did take a look @ their hot water heater; could not get
the pilot light lit & some water was laying underneath as well. I think it
needs professional attention.

From here, we rendezvous with Marge, Tom & Kathy G. @ the Macaroni Grill
restaurant for dinner. This gathering of us (6) was “the best” as we are
all in a tired, hungry & thirsty mood. The wonderful company &
conversation, with terrific food & drink, just seemed to mellow our
evening into smiles…..

Kathy & I share an eggplant Parmesan dinner. We think the cooks forgot to
split the meal into half as both of our portions seemed rather large; like
maybe the regular amount.

Afterward, we take Katrina back to her place near the park & we are back
to our bus by 8:45pm.

Katrina let us use a DVD of hers for the evening…so it’s movie time:
“Annapolis.” The film had a good message & was ok, but any film of boxing
is not my kind of movie. Kathy told me she would stay awake for this
flick! She didn’t even make it thru the on-coming attractions. It was
still a great day!

Today’s high=85 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 5:40am Temp 65 sleep 6+38 partly sunny elevation
4500 ft overnight @ Stratton, Colorado.

This is another “close to the Interstate campground” that specializes in:
easy off-easy on RV customers. Last evening, this small campground of 33
RV sites, swelled 3X’s the number since we pulled in. Maybe the
threatening weather had something to do with it, but this sort of setup;
level ground, preferably asphalt or gravel, with pull thru lengths of 55’
& good electricity, 30, 50 amps…..will attract our attention. We have yet
to try the Flying “J” fuel stops for overnight stays, the Wal-Marts, the
road-side rest stops, etc. A lot depends on “what’s to see & do” in the
State we are in?

Anyway, we leave the Marshall Ash Village RV Park in Stratton, CO. @
7:35am. Smooth roads continue.

Arrive @ the Flying Saucer Campground in Denver, CO. @ 10:30am.
Today’s travel: 2+55 time 156 miles 18.4 gal used 8.51 mpg
53.5 avg speed.

With Kathy’s good help, I back into the same site as we had last September
15th. This campground of 15 acres has been family owned since 1946. Jenny
(a granddaughter of the man who started this campground) tells us as we
check in, that the land across the street to the east is being converted
to a shopping mall next yr. Hmmm!?

Katrina calls & leaves a msg. She will be getting out of her Masters
program early today & invites us to join her & a friend to the Cherry
Creek Arts & Crafts festival this afternoon @ 4:00pm. We respectfully
decline: dark clouds threaten rain & we’re not quite ready to jump into
vigorous activity today.

Next call: Marge & Tom just arrived in town from Grand Junction, CO. We
make plans to rendezvous for breakfast tomorrow & will include our Katrina
& their daughter Kathy.

7:15 dinner: Chicken Monterey, cauliflower, mashed potatoes, mixed salad &

There are a lot of tall, old trees in this campground so….no satellite TV
& we read our respective novels.

Today’s temp=85 Lights out: 10:26pm

Awake: 4:51am Temp 72 sleep 5+30 sunny elevation 1367 ft
overnight @ Salina, Kansas.

We eat a small breakfast of cereal, retract our slides, etc & leave the
Sundowner West RV Park @ 8:35am. Interstate 70 is merely ½ mile away.
Very, very smooth roads continue. (1) stop today @ the Colorado Welcome
Center where Kathy loads up on brochures. We arrive @ the Marshall Ash
Village RV Park in Stratton, Colorado @ 1:50pm. We gained an hour at the
western edge of Kansas.

Today’s travel: 4+57 time 274.9 miles 37.8 miles 7.28 mpg
55.7 avg speed.

After setting up camp, we drive the Suzuki around this town of Stratton &
check it out….it really is too hot to walk around the town this time of
day. For it’s size(population=669) there are some nice perks for the
people: large public swimming pool; elementary & high school buildings
with football field; several churches; numerous businesses including
several grocery stores, etc. We check the Mass schedule @ Saint Charles
church & then return to our cooling down motorhome.

Far to the west, we catch sight of some dark & billowing clouds moving our
way. Just before we leave to attend the 7:15 Mass, I talk Kathy into
closing all of our slides just in case. Walking out of church @ 8:05, the
priest suggested that we all get a move on as this weather system is just
down the road. Sure enough, strong winds & some rain pushed us around
during our 8:35 dinner of: Tuna steak, brown rice, broccoli, mixed salad &

Watching the history channel about the “Bad Luck of the Kennedy Family”,
our TV screen would miss a few digital signals off & on during the 2.0 hr
film. Our campground did miss the heavy rains however; we think it moved
further north.

Today’s high=98 Lights out: 11:02pm

Awake: 5:34am Temp 72 sleep 6+25 sunny overnight@
Newell campground.

We each have a healthy Kathy muffin for breakfast for our earlier start
today. I move the Suzuki that we had parked in front of our coach & then
pull the motorhome out onto the apron tarmac to hookup the Suzuki for
towing. Kathy has a little problem getting the Suzuki in position for
hookup, but once done, she watches & gives the thumbs up while checking
turn signals, brake lights & wheels turning when I move forward a bit.
Then we leave the Newell campground @ 8:05am.

Very, very smooth roads today on N. hwy 69, hwy 400, hwy 135 & I-70
through Kansas. Two stops today: one @ Flying “J” for 80.1 gallons of
fuel…..enough I think, to get us to Cheyenne, WY where the price is a
great deal lower & the other, a comfort stop. We arrive @ the Sundowner
West RV Park in Salina, Kansas @ 2:10pm. The office note near the door
read: “office hours 4:30pm to 7:30pm.” Check yourself in ….blah-blah-blah.
I wasn’t too sure about this campground to begin with but now that we are
here, we’ll make the best of it.

Today’s travel: 5+46 time 294.4 miles 35.4 gal used 8.32 mpg
53.5 avg speed.

Their campground advertised 50 amps & they confirmed that when I called
yesterday, but my Volt & Amp meters already read low. It’s a hot day & the
RV’s that are here now surely are using the amps big time. In our travels,
a lot of the older campgrounds (like this one) take a short cut in
providing a true 50 amp hookup (like this one). Sure, you do have a 220
volt supply but that voltage becomes weak & the amps available are NOT
able to handle 50 amps on each of the two 120 voltage legs.

Erring on the side of caution, I run only (2) of our air conditioning
compressors in lieu of (4). It wasn’t long until Kathy started cooking
dinner & the power tripped off. Then we agreed to run only (1) compressor
in the living room during the afternoon & early evening & switch to
running only the bedroom a/c @ night. That worked ok but this campground
is now on our: “do not return!” list.

6:30pm dinner: Leftover pepper steak, creamy corn & roasted red pepper
soup from Trader Joe’s + Triscuits.

(2) movies tonight: “Ball of Fire” with Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck,
etc. A Burlesque dancer moves in with eight prissy professors (led by
Cooper) to explain “slang” for their new encyclopedia. Very entertaining.

“Emperor of the North” with Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, etc. An exciting
action film set during the depression yrs. Sadistic conductor Borgnine
will kill any tramp who tries to hop a ride on his trains. Legendary hobo
Marvin announces he will be the first to succeed.
Kathy stayed awake for both of these films. 1973.

High temp=96 Lights out: 11:21pm

Awake: 6:28am Temp ? sleep 5+26 sunny overnight
inside the paint chamber.

“Happy Birthday to Kathy.” She says it’s her xx birthday. Sleeping in the
# 20 paint chamber was just fine. We could hear those powerful fans
running but it didn’t disturb our sleep what-so-ever. We decide to attend
9:00am Mass @ Sacred Heart Church this morning. As we exit our coach, John
the painter is double-checking his work & tells us that after lunch, our
coach will be backed outside so Ron can continue troubleshooting our
TracStar system….if the parts arrive from Florida.

On our return from Mass, Kathy spots the FDX delivery truck going to the
parts department @ Newell. So, a visit to the office is in store to find
out if our package is in. It took over 30 min for them to find our
satellite box & when they did, Ron got right after replacing the gyro &
circuit board on our coach inside the paint chamber. He couldn’t do any
testing on the TracStar until our coach is taken outside after lunch

@ 2:00pm Ron was finished with a thumbs up for the TracStar system. Now
all the items on our list have been looked at, repaired or replaced…. &
our coach is driven to the Newell campground where all (4) slides are
extended & the clean-up team comes in & makes our home look like new on
the inside again.

Throughout the day, Kathy has been getting “Happy Birthday” calls from
family & friends. # (1) was from Shirley of Vancouver, WA. (2) Son, Nick,
of Seattle, WA. (3) Son, Zack, of Seattle, WA. (4) My sister, Mary Jo, of
Lodi, CA. (5) Daughter, Melissa, of Indiana, PA. (6) Daughter, Katrina, of
Denver, CO. Then there are the e-mail wishes but my contract doesn’t
permit revealing those 1st names.

@ 4:30 Tommy visits us @ our campsite to discuss our bill. Save for the
new tires, the cost would have been respectable. (5) of our (10) write-ups
were covered under warranty. Again, these guys did a great job.

I take Kathy to “Montana Mikes” restaurant for her birthday dinner. We
split a 12 oz steak with all the trimmings. During dinner birthday call
#7 is received from Kathy’s friend, Sylvia, of Chicago.

Forgot to mention that Mike and Louise from CA have been here the whole
time we have; getting the first preventive maintenance done on their new
2006 coach. They gave us a tour of their coach; Kathy really liked it,
esp. their galley and Murphy bed. We first met them in Jan, 2002. Kathy
spent quite a bit of time talking with Louise over the past 4 days. Their
coach is finished and they are ready to move on so we say our goodbyes for

So as to get an earlier start in the morning, we retract all the slides

No movie tonight……nothing of interest; we read instead.

High temp=97 Lights out: 11:09pm

Awake: 5:15am Temp ? sleep 6+15 sunny outside
overnight inside Newell service bay.

@ 6:45am, Gary continues working with the crack in the fiberglass.

For breakfast, we each have a healthy Kathy muffin.

@12:30pm our coach is backed out of service bay #17 onto the ramp outside.
Now Ron can analyze what’s happening with our TracStar system & why it
takes so long to capture a satellite signal. During the trouble shooting
process, Ron talks with Al in Florida, the same Al that hinted to me
during the month of May that we might have a gyro or circuit board
failing. Using FedEx, we order the suggested parts to be shipped priority
(1) to Newell so Ron can install them tomorrow & go from there.

About 3:30pm our motorhome gets moved into one of the paint chambers for
the final finish. These guys are very good @ what they do: nearly ½ of our
coach is covered with plastic & paper just to insure no stray spray gets
on anything. We agreed to stay overnight in the paint stall #21 & Gary +
John agreed to leave the 16 ft door open 2 ft with big fans running to
keep the air fresh all night. All of this just to repair a small
fiberglass crack!

7:10pm dinner: Pepper steak, brown rice, spinach salad & toast.

(2) Movies on Cable TV: “Requiem for a Heavyweight” with Anthony Quinn,
Julie Harris, Jackie Gleason & Mickey Rooney. Grim account of fighter,
Quinn, whose ring career is over, forces him into corruption &
degradation. 1962

“Lawrence of Arabia” with Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn,
Omar Sharif, etc. A blockbuster biography of the enigmatic adventurer
T.E. Lawrence. It’s a little slow during the second half but it’s still
one of my favorites. 1962.

High temp=low 90’s Lights out: 1:02am

Awake: 5:30am Temp ? sleep 6+18 sunny outside
overnight inside the Newell service bay.

Starting about 6:45am, a tech by the name of John is replacing a partially
burned out bulb (I think it had (2) filaments) & another burned out bulb
indicating when shore power is plugged in. Both of these bulbs were a
challenge to replace as some of the entertainment systems had to be taken
out to get to the information panel above the drivers seat. Maybe next
time, I’ll replace a bulb myself now that I’ve watched the procedure John

Another tech is working on repairing a fiberglass crack down below our
hydraulic system access panel. After repairing that crack, it’ll have to
be sanded, then painted.

In the meantime, Merle & Jane from Texas arrive in their new 2007 Newell.
We also met for the 1st time in May of 2003. Jane offers us a tour of
their new motorhome……yes, make our mouths water!

Only a few other items yet to work on which require our bus to be outside
& then inside one of the four paint chambers they have.

Most of our day was spent either talking with Larry & Jo Ann from Florida
or Merle & Jane from Texas.

7:10 dinner inside our coach: Pork chops with apple mushroom sauce, mixed
salad, leftover corn, rice & toast.

(2) movies on Cable TV: “The Big Chill.” Entertaining, surface-level look
@ a group of former college-radical friends who’ve dropped back into
society + wonderful acting ensemble, with irresistible soundtrack of 60s
hits help camouflage weaknesses of the script. 1983.

“Far Country” with James Stewart, Walter Brennan, etc. Stewart is a
tough-minded cattleman intent on establishing himself in Alaska during the
Klondike gold rush of 1896.
1955. No, we didn’t see any body we knew.

High temp=? Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 4:55am Temp 64 sleep 5+53 sunny elevation
806 ft overnight@ the Newell service campground.

Our doorbell rings @ 6:35am. Kathy is up & dressed (good thing) as our
motorhome is quickly taken into service bay # 17. Mike, one of (2)
schedulers for service, comes aboard our coach to discuss items that need
attention. We didn’t plan on stopping @ Newell during this 3 month tour,
but our motorhome tires were beginning to get my attention: the more I
read about them & talked to people of experience, the more I felt
compelled to do something about them.

Mike assigns some of the techs for the various items to repair or to
replace on our list.

Today’s progress: 1.) Oil & filter change on the series 60 Detroit diesel.
2.) (6) new XZA2 Energy Michelin tires
replaced on the drive wheels & Tag axle.
3.) (2) Latches replaced on the aux generator cooling
access door.
4.) Gaggenau cook-top cover replaced……our original
had a minute crack when we first got the coach,
then it continued.

5.) Skylight closet sealed to stop small water leakage.

@ 6:00pm, we meet with Larry & Jo Ann for dinner. We have known this
couple since May of 2003 & they are having their new 2006 Newell in for
the 1st preventive maintenance check. They drive us over to the Buffalo
Run Casino (15 min) where we eat & gab for over an hr but no gambling.
Kathy & I share a great tasting filet steak dinner.

We return to our respective Newell motor homes to spend the night inside
the service building. Cable TV is provided to the individual coaches
inside the building & tonight, K & I try & catch up with the news.

High today=? Lights out: 11:12pm


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