October 2009 Archives

Awake: 6:58am Temp 39 sleep 6+42 mostly cloudy overnight @ Meridian, Idaho.

I waited until after 8:00am & then made a call to Rob @ the CAT service center; "we have your # 15 cap" he told me. "I'll be right down" I replied.

"I hope this new reservoir cap will take care of our little problem" I say to myself. I did notice that some of the anti-freeze coolant leaked out overnight while the coach was just sitting idle, without leaving a trace of fluid; that puzzled me again.
K & I wanted to go into Boise this afternoon & tour a section of ole town with the big mansions, but time just ran out on us. In lieu of that, we stayed in Meridian & toured a few grocery stores like Albertsons, a state liquor store & Winco. Winco was so well organized with large aisles & so easy to find things that we loaded up on more cereal than we expected due to the fair pricing.

Dinner: pot roast with veggies, gravy & bread.

Evening movie: we finished watching: "Thunderball" with Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi, etc. Fourth James Bond film isn't as lively as the others. Plenty of gimmicks, and Oscar-winning special effects, as world is threatened with destruction, but film tends to bog down....especially underwater. Remade eighteen years later...with Connery ...as: NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. 1965. Yes, I also agree with the critics! Too much underwater fighting but, Kathy stayed awake throughout; is that a sign of a good movie?!

Lights out: 12:47am.

Awake: 6:14am Temp 35 sleep 6+26 sun...clouds, then rain overnight @ Heyburn,
I tried to take a picture of this neat & well planned campground but couldn't do it justice...so we left the Country RV Village @ 10:48am & continued following I-84 northwest. Pleasant scenery, blue sky, & smooth roads, gosh, this is great!

For the last few travel days now, I've been getting an alert on the Glass Dash in our motorhome telling me we are low on coolant. So I called Creslie @ Newell; he surmised that it might just be a bubble burp & to add more coolant so the alert will be satisfied. I did just that & the next morning, that alert was there again. Besides that, our tow car was plastered with spots, like an oily chemical on the hood & windows, which I surmised to be coolant.

I could not find any source of leaks so another call went to Newell & this time Mike suggested that maybe the reservoir cap rubber has deteriorated & to find a truck stop or auto parts store & replace the cap.

Meanwhile, I continued looking for clues on leakage...non visible; but I filled the anti-freeze reservoir to continue traveling the next day.

Before leaving Heyburn, Idaho, I had selected a Caterpillar service dealer from our "Pure Support" book. So, now, with some cell phone coverage along the way, Kathy, not only called ahead & made reservations for a campground for the night, but also arrangements to visit the chosen Meridian full service Caterpillar dealer nearby the campground.

In the meantime, as we merrily rolled along the interstate, I sensed that we had a rare wind syndrome; we've heard of this oddity but rarely experienced it. I believe they call it a "tailwind!"

Up ahead, we see the Caterpillar service bldg & (2) left turns later has us right in front of some (6) service doors. Inside the service bldg, I talked with Dan, a nice young man whose coveralls are very clean. We discuss the odd & mysterious problem I've been having & then he introduces me to Rob @ the service desk. After I fill out some paperwork, Rob also listens to my woes of mystifying & disappearing coolant & then suggests that they do a pressure test on the anti-freeze reservoir. Rob tells me he can bring our motorhome inside within the hr.

Well, as I aimlessly sauntered around the parts area, I got to thinking: maybe it is only a weak coolant cap like Mike suggested. Why not start troubleshooting with the little things & work my way up! I went back to Rob, canceled my pressure test for now, & then back to the parts dept to ask for a # 15 reservoir cap. The parts guy only had a # 10 cap but could get a # 15 cap by tomorrow. I gave him our cell # & my name & asked him to call me when the cap was available.

Next we drove the motorhome about (1.5) miles to the Boise Meridian RV Resort LLC arriving @ 2:34pm. Nice campground, big rig friendly & great location.

Today's travel: 171 miles 3+18 time 23 gal used 7.6 mpg 52 avg speed.

After extending the slides, again, I do the 50/50 anti-freeze mix & top off the coolant reservoir before the rain moved in.

Dinner: chili with noodles & chips.

Sometime after 7:00pm, rain...heavy @ times, moved into our area.

Evening movie: "Thunderball." We watch ½.

Lights out: 12:16am.

Awake: 7:15am Temp 32 sleep 7+20 one inch of snow overnight @ Rawlins, WY.

This snow was a surprise to me. I had awakened earlier, looked out our window & saw nothing but gravel everywhere. Maybe an hr later...snow!

This means I had to do the ladder thing...brush the snow off the slides & gently smash patches of ice before tapping on the window for Kathy to retract those slides. The strong winds of the last few days have subsided somewhat & that made me smile.

We left the Western Hills Campground @ 9:25am, continuing on I-80 west. Then near Echo, Utah, we picked up I-84 & headed northwest. Along the way, Kathy researched a campground for the night, selecting (3). She made the necessary calls & narrowed her choice to the Country Village in Heyburn, Idaho, arriving there @ 4:57pm. Located about (40) miles from Twin Falls, Idaho, this RV campground was the best small, but big rig friendly, place we have found yet using Passport America.

Today's travel: 428 miles 7+32 time 65 gal used 6.6 mpg 57mph avg speed.

Finally we have cell phone service so we called Mel & Kevin in PA & talked for (38) min. They are doing fine. Melissa is making Halloween customs for the boys: Matthew is going to be a dishwashing machine, Andrew is to be a train & Nathan will be a puzzle piece.

This will be their 1st Halloween trick or treating experience; in the past they have just stayed home & handed out candy to other trick-or-treaters.

Dinner: Italian sausage with peppers & onions stoup.

Lights out: 11:48pm.

Awake: 7:35am Temp 41 sleep 6+41 very windy & cool overnight @ Rawlins, WY.

We both had a tiny breakfast before visiting Alcuin & his wife, La Rena. Their home was a mere (5) min away. Some people change their looks as they age but not Alcuin, I could have easily spotted him from across the street. It's been over (50) yrs since I've seen Alcuin & I am meeting his wife, La Rena, for the 1st time.

We sat in their living room & began our get acquainted talk. About (10) min later, a knock on the door & in walked Alcuin's brother, Archie, & his wife, Mimi. (4) yrs ago we spent a wonderful afternoon with them. After the initial welcome talk & the surprise that Archie & Mimi were available for this gathering, another knock on the door & in came Leo, another brother. Wow, a triple feature seeing all (3) brothers this morning.

We had a lot to catch up on; they had questions, we had questions, etc. Before long, the guys were talking guy talk & the ladies were doing their share of women talk. This went on for a good (2.5) hrs & then Leo & Archie had some things to do today, but before leaving, we all agreed to meet for dinner tonight after the 5:15pm vigil Mass.

Meanwhile, La Rena & Alcuin (nickname Nin) offered to take Kathy & me to lunch at a small Mexican restaurant (Su Casa) in Sinclair, WY; a favorite of theirs. It was the smallest restaurant I've ever experienced, (6) tables & a counter that sat (3). We had to look inside before going in because there was no room to wait inside if there was not a vacant table; we waited about (15) min in the heated entry for someone to finish.

Nin & La Rena had eaten here many times & were quite familiar with the menu, stating, "we have never had a bad meal here!" Unfamiliar with Mexican food & this restaurant, we followed LaRena's lead & ordered the same thing she did, Sopapillas; very tasty & just the right size. Nin & I had some more time together to catch up on our missing (50) yrs of: "what we've been doing."

Back @ our motorhome, with those cold strong winds blowing, I climbed up the ladder, made the mirror adjustment on the passenger side & torqued it good & tight.

5:15 vigil Mass @ St Joseph's Church was not that well attended & had no music, but we got to see Arch & Mimi in action: he was the altar boy/Eucharistic minister & Mimi was the lector.

Afterward, Kathy & I followed Nin to the "Aspen House Restaurant" where we met the rest of the group for dinner. The Aspen house is a large, lovely, old house with the different rooms converted to more intimate dining areas...very nice. Before ordering, Kathy had the group sign a postcard to send to the Koffee Klub & after we ordered our drinks & food, I took a picture of the group; from left to right, starting with Kathy: Sandy & Leo, (nickname Boots), Mimi & Archie, La Rena & Nin, & me.
We continued our gab session throughout the meal for @ (2) hours. A real fun time! Kathy & I each had Tilapia & shrimp over garlic mashed potatoes with a side of broccoli.

All too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes, of course I gave a few hints that they should visit Nicktown for the Homecoming Picnic next yr. A great bunch of people!

Back @ our motorhome, K & I watched the movie: "Goldfinger" with Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, etc. Entertaining, exciting James Bond adventure, third in the series. Full of ingenious gadgets & nefarious villains, with hair-raising climax inside fort Knox. 1964. I still find this film exciting; watching it over again after not seeing it for (30) some yrs. Kathy even stayed awake. Yes, it is still a classic!

Lights out: 11:55pm.

Awake: 5:53am Temp 23 sleep 5+35 windy & cool overnight @ Limon, Colorado.

No need to clean off the slides this morning, the wind did the job for me. After a small breakfast, we left the KOA campground @ 9:45am & continued heading west on I-70 to Denver.

Approaching the city of Denver, we were startled to see....sunshine & no snow on the ground. Katrina told us that this sort of thing happens frequently. Denver gets the snow but it doesn't last long, only in the mountains.

From here, we head north on I-25 to Cheyenne, Wyoming where we topped off our tank @ a Valero fuel station with (163) gal of diesel. I also tried to call a Nicktown cousin & high school classmate living in Rawlins, WY, to no avail. The phone number was discontinued. "We'll go to Rawlins anyway & stay the night @ a campground" I told Kathy.

Then we switched to I-80 & headed west along with a lot of trucks also using I-80...in both directions. We had a terrific crosswind starting shortly after leaving Cheyenne & staying with us as we arrived @ the Western Hills Campground @ 4:03pm in Rawlins, WY.

We saw one tractor trailer completely overturned on I-80...most likely due to strong crosswinds. I finally slowed my speed down by (5) mph...but that was after a gust of wind pushed the co-pilot's side mirror away about a foot which made it unusable. We were so close to the campground, I waited until parked to re-adjust the mirror.

Today's travel: 329 miles 6+02 driving time 58 gal used 5.7 mpg 54 mph avg speed.

After checking in at the office, we asked the campground manager if she knew Archie Kirsch. "Oh yes," she said. "Everyone in town knows Dr. Archie."

The manager let us use the phone book & we wrote down Archie's brother, Alcuin's phone number. I felt a little awkward when calling Alcuin late afternoon & asking if we could pay him a visit tomorrow morning @ 9:00am. He said yes, that would be fine. He didn't know where Archie was either.

Dinner: mashed potatoes with chicken noodle soup from the Nicktown picnic, a chicken breast & bread.

Evening movie: "The Girl with Green Eyes" Rita Tushingham, Peter Finch, Lynn Redgrave, T.P. McKenna, etc. Moving drama of young farm girl falling in love with writer Finch, highlighted by winning Tushingham performance. 1964. A different angle on dating but my mother would not have approved of it.

Lights out: 12:54am.

Awake: 5:38am Temp 46 sleep 5+13 overcast overnight @ Hutchinson, Kansas.

Lots of rain last night so the Melody Acres campground was a little muddy this morning. I chose to back out of our pull thru campsite to avoid getting stuck in the soft earth.

We left Hutchinson @ 10:10am, going north on State Road-61 to I-35 & then headed west on I-70. Smooth roads with some powerful cornering X-winds. As we gain altitude, the fields, mountains & landscape change color; now everything is painted white, snowy white, save for the highway that had been plowed.

We have no cell phone coverage on I-70 so when Kathy chose our next campground, she has no way of knowing if there was a vacancy or not.

Four yrs ago, we stayed overnight @ Seibert, Colorado in the Shady Grove Campground; a small town with an even smaller RV park but it was ok. So today we thought wed do it again. They advertise that their campground is open all year.

Driving into town, the street leading to the campground was not plowed & that campground definitely was not ready for a big rig. So back on I-70 we went.

About (33) miles further west is a KOA in Limon, CO. We arrived @ 5:50pm. They are open & welcomed us with a camp site with a little less snow than Seibert had. Elevation: 5385 ft.
Today's travel: 408 miles 7+54 driving time 82 gal used 5.0 mpg 52 mph avg speed.

Dinner: leftover Italian tuna/spinach casserole with a mixed salad.

We finished watching: "Abandon Ship" with Tyrone Power, Mai Zetterling, Lloyd Nolan, Stephen Boyd, etc. Tyrone is officer suddenly in command of lifeboat holding survivors from sunken luxury liner. Tense, exciting study of people fighting to stay alive while exposed to savage seas and each other. 1957. It was as they advertise. Don't miss this one.

Lights out: 12:18am.

Awake: 7:05am Temp 63 sleep 7+34 overnight in Newell service bay, Miami, OK.

Another good night's sleep on our Murphy bed; in fact, we both slept so well, we heard nothing during the early morning when the workers drove in & reported for work. This was the shortest Newell visit yet since we've been with Newell.

We left the Newell campground @ 8:18am, heading north on US-69 & then traveling west on US-400 to Wichita, Kansas. We should have taken state road-96 to catch I-135 north but I thought it better to continue on US-400 & glide right onto I-135. It cost us a good (30) minutes due to heavy road construction (maybe a stimulus package) in action. Unfortunately there were no detour signs.

Finally we headed north on I-135, & @ the town of Newton we turned west & followed US-50 to Hutchinson, Kansas, arriving @ 1:21pm @ the Melody Acres Mobile & R.V. Park.

Today's travel: 258 miles 5+41 time 44 gal used 5.9 mpg 45 mph avg speed.

Remember that I turned down a wash job on our coach yesterday because our coach was fairly clean from the washing on Sunday; well, about ½ of our drive to Hutchinson was in drizzle & @ times, heavy rain. So now, our house on wheels is a mess again. And this campground is a muddy mess as well.

En route to Hutchinson, Kathy made a few cell phone calls to the Underground Salt Museum...asking about tour times, clothing to wear, location, etc.

We detached our Suzuki tow car & headed down the road to the Kansas Underground Salt Museum, a mere (2.5) miles.

There were (2) other couples along with us taking the 3:00pm tour today. We met with our tour guide, Al, & proceeded into a room where Al explained the wearing of a hard hat. He also showed us how to use the emergency breathing unit that we each wore over our shoulder in the unlikely event something would go wrong & we would need air to breathe.

Then Al led us to a double-decked elevator that whisked us down into the mine; 650 ft below terra firma. Al asked all of us if we would like to go down in darkness, as was the custom of the miners, or with light; we all agreed on dark. Inside the elevator as we rode down we heard a clanging, banging, rattling noise inside this bare metal box that sounded as if it was being whacked with a sledgehammer.

Then suddenly, we were in a calm, exotic underground environment where it's always 68 degrees with about 40 % humidity. From floor to ceiling is about 9 feet & above that is some 300 ft of salt, which is so hard, you can't even drive a nail into it. Once in the mine, however, everything is spacious, comfortable, and very quiet.

We all climbed into an electric-powered tram & Al toured us through a maze of chambers created by decades of salt mining. Our ride was a gentle, headlight-lit excursion that made frequent stops at exhibits that illuminated as we approached.

The tunnels go on for miles; the Museum has developed only 100,000 square feet of this, but it's still big enough to get lost in. Fences around the underground periphery ensure that visitors can't wander off and disappear forever.

The tour wound its way past a wall made of old dynamite cases (empty) and a sinkhole that formed when water got into the mine (the mine would melt if it ever got wet).

One exhibit was a stripped-down, post-Apocalyptic Road Warrior-type car that was typical of what the miners still drive down here. It's over 70 years old.

Another stop was for us to pick out a piece or pieces of salt to take home as a souvenir
The mine's perpetual 68 degrees and 40 percent humidity make it a great place to stash stuff once you screen out the salt. A company named Underground Vaults and Storage has been doing that here since 1947.

After our tram tour, Al left us off to further look at some of the machinery that is still used to mine more salt during the nighttime hrs. We had about an hr to casually walk around, to listen & watch short videos of the techniques & equipment miners used to mine the salt during the early yrs.

Toward the end of our self tour, Kathy began complaining of a wicked headache. She didn't know if it was the air, lack of air or what. Then she removed her hard hat & in no time of all, her headache was gone.

I took quite a few pictures during our tram ride & self tour. It was so fascinating for us......realizing just how much we don't know about our earth & the universe we live in.

After the clanging, banging & rattling noises of the elevator brought K & me back to our normal altitude level, we ran thru rain to our car, toured some of downtown Hutchinson & then returned to our motorhome.

Dinner: leftover chili.

Evening movie: "Abandon Ship." We watched about ½.

Lights out: 12:25am.

Awake: 5:36am Temp in service bay 70 sleep 7+16 overnight inside Newell
service bay 18.

Gosh, it was nice to sleep on our memory foam bed again. We were (42) days sleeping on our stand-by blow up ribbed air mattress, which was not too shabby, but oh what a nice difference.

Today, early afternoon, the techs finished our P.M., & Dave did a good job getting (2) of our clothes drawers free moving again.

Kathy made another trip into town exploring places she had not gotten to yesterday.

I gave my ole buddy Gary J. a call in eastern PA & wished him a "Happy Anniversary."

Next, the clean-up girls pulled up the plastic covering on the floor, vacuumed & dusted our coach & it was ready to be taken to the wash bay.

I didn't realize the guys were going to wash our coach; part of our P.M. program. Heck, since it's already pretty darn clean, I asked Creslie if I could save that wash job until the next time we visit. "Sure" he says. "I'll make a note of it on both of our invoices.

With our motorcoach parked out in the Newell campground, Ray in Ocean Shores, WA & I had some good Skype time for (34) min.

Dinner: hamburger with fried onions, asparagus, & a mixed salad.

After dinner, Kathy gave Grace (Gary's wife) a call for their anniversary.

Kathy spends a lot of time searching for reasonable airline fares for our potential flight to Seattle for a small Christmas reunion.

Lights out: 11:31.

Awake: 5:01am Temp 51 sleep 5+59 sunny...windy overnight @ Newell

Our doorbell rang precisely @ 6:30am. We were ready: our portable water filter was stowed, slides retracted, engine warmed up, etc. Dave drove us to service bay (18). As we pulled into the parking spot, (3) techs were there waiting for us.

We are having a P.M. done (preventive Maintenance) on our coach & a few glitches repaired. (22) filters get replaced, oil changed on the Caterpillar engine, oil changed on the generator, grease job, (2) new driving tires, diesel/electric aqua system gets a new nozzle, etc, etc.

Aside from getting the P.M. done, getting our Murphy bed fixed was another most important item on our list of (7) glitches. Murphy had sprained his ankle September 8, as he looks here, but now he has recovered & is as good as new. The techs made the repairs before 10:00am this morning.
The remainder of the day zipped along quickly for me as the techs were doing their jobs on the P.M.

Kathy went into town for a couple hours in the afternoon, put the dirty Suzuki through a car wash, & checked out some of the local stores.

Dinner: pork chops, rice, broccoli & acorn squash.

Mid evening: we Skyped with Nick, Eriko & Jerry for (38) min. Jerry has pneumonia & was asleep on the couch. Nick showed us the ultrasound of their baby; no sex identified.

Evening movie: "Doctors Dilemma" with Leslie Caron, Dirk Bogarde, Alastair Sim, etc. Bubbly Shaw period play of young wife Caron conniving to convince medical specialists that her scoundrel husband is worth saving. 1958. Unless you're in the medical field, I would advise one to skip this flick.

Lights out: 11:20pm.

Awake: 6:04am Temp 37 sleep 6+13 cold - windy overnight @ Newell campsite.

Kathy made sourdough pancakes with all the trimmings for our breakfast. Those pancakes gave me such renewed energy, I couldn't wait to go outside & start cleaning our motorhome; even though being outside, meant cold & windy.

Kathy on the other hand, couldn't just sit around & watch me shiver, shake & breathe warm vapors....she washed the dishes, vacuumed, washed the windows inside, & did general house cleaning.

(3.5) hrs later, our coach looked a lot better than when we 1st arrived. Kathy did join in the fun for a good (45) min after all.
Then for some more cardio exercise, we walked around the neighborhood for (45) min.

Dinner: mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken breast, spinach salad & some yams.

Evening movie: "Three Strangers" with Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Lorre, Joan Lorring, etc. Greenstreet and Lorre team up with Fitzgerald as partners holding winning sweepstakes ticket under unusual circumstances. 1946. Different, unusual, but still entertaining.

Lights out: 11:03pm.

Awake: 5:44am Temp 46 sleep 5+19 mostly overcast overnight @ Newell
Campsite, Miami, Oklahoma.

Kathy made a trip to the nearby Wal-Mart & a few other stores late morning. During her absence, Katrina called from Denver; she is planning on having a few people over to her condo for dinner tonight & would like to have Mom's chili recipe. "But Dad, could you have Mom e-mail the recipe this afternoon because I will be motorcycling with my friend." "I'll make a note," I tell her & "do have a good ride & be safe daughter."

We both did some e-mail catch up writing this afternoon.

Then K & I attended the vigil Mass @ the Sacred Heart Catholic church about a mile down the road.

Dinner: Chili with elbow macaroni & Doritos corn chips

Evening movie: "Jailhouse Rock" with Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Vaughn Taylor, Dean Jones, etc. Elvis learns to pick a guitar in the Big House, later becomes a surly rock star. Presley's best film captures the legend in all his nostril-flaring, pre-Army glory. 1957. Elvis's best film? Well, it was....hmmm, just ok.

Lights out: 11:51pm.

Awake: 6:39an Temp 45 sleep 7+15 sunny overnight @ Miami, OK.

Mid morning, Katrina called; we discussed her plans for going to Mexico with a girlfriend during fall break; will she be in Denver when we travel thru there? Her plans are committed so I suppose it really depends on our timing.

Meanwhile, watching from our window, the fellow (2) spaces away appeared to be getting ready to abandon campsite # 1, the première full hookup site. Sure enough, his motorhome roared out & headed for the hookup circle & stopped. Out the door I went! I remember Bill but not too sure that he remembers me.....from our Key West Rally in Florida, October, 2003. We talked briefly & he confirmed that, yes, the chosen site is now available. Like a silver flash, I have our Suzuki in that site pronto...blocking it from anyone else.

(20) min later, we are most comfortable with what Kathy had planned to do today: (5) loads of laundry. That saves us having to retract our slides, drive over to the dump station & dispose of the gray water, maybe twice today & return to our original site. Now, being on the chosen site, when our gray water tank is full, I can simply run our dump hose out to the dump station & hit the switch.

Before dinner, Nick Skyped us for (38) min; it was nice seeing them on the computer screen again.

Dinner: Italian tuna casserole.

Evening movie: "Carbine Williams" with James Stewart, Jean Hagen, Wendell Corey, Paul Stewart, James Arness. Sturdy history of the inventor of famed rifle, his problems with the law, and his simple family life.

The film follows the life of David Marshall Williams (Stewart), who invented the semi-automatic M1 Carbine used in World War II. Williams was found distilling illegal moonshine, and was held responsible for the death of a federal officer during a raid on his still.

He was sentenced to thirty years hard labor. He cycled through the prison system, until a firm, but compassionate warden, H.T. Peoples (Wendell Corey) allowed him to work in a prison tool shop. There he invented the gas system for his famous rifle, and eventually was released from prison in 1929 and worked with Winchester Firearms on development of the M1 Carbine. 1952. We both enjoyed learning about this fellow & his true life story.

Lights out: 12:25am.

Awake: 6:20am Temp 48 sleep 7+13 drizzle most of day overnight @ Corydon, IN.

Pulling out of our campsite this morning took about (10) sec with no obstacles. We left this historic & interesting town of 2715 people @ 9:25am & continued on I-64 toward St. Louis. Again we got lucky & zoomed right thru this busy city of 384,000 @ the right time of day, & then I-44 toward Springfield, MO.

I had asked Kathy if she would pick out a campground further southwest in the event the driver got tired. She told me the driver rarely gets tired driving & she felt that we were going to go the distance today without a doubt! But...she selected (2) big rig campgrounds anyway just to please the driver. I felt like giving her a big kiss!

Passing Springfield, MO I began to take notice of our remaining fuel; I had glided on by a Flying J fuel Station about a (100) miles back & expected to see another Flying J soon. Kathy checked the road atlas & Flying J was further away than I thought.

Not wanting to check the accuracy of our gauges, down the road a few miles we stopped at a Travel Center.

That (185) gallons made us both feel more comfortable; we pulled into the Newell Service campground just before darkness @ 6:35pm.

Today's travel: 553 miles 9+42 travel time 89 gal used 6.2 mpg 57 mph avg speed.

We were parked & Kathy was getting dinner ready when a call came thru on the cell phone: it was Gary & he wanted to know if we were going to make Miami, Ok today. I let him know that "Yes we are here." I think Rosemary had a big buck bet that we wouldn't have arrived so soon.

Dinner: ham, left over yam, broccoli

Lights out: 11:24pm

Awake: 5:25am Temp 37 sleep 6+28 some drizzle overnight @ Navarre, Ohio.

Mark & Joan arrive precisely @ 8:30am & we motor over to the Amish Door in Wilmot. We have eaten here a few times in the past, sometimes with M & J, other times by our selves, but never for breakfast. Their food is top notch & this morning is no exception. But the important thing is having some good talk time, laughs, some reminiscing, & holding on to our friendship. I get so busy from time to time doing little things; it's a small miracle that Mark doesn't toss me out of his life.

Unfortunately, his brother Linus's passing does bring a sad note to the equation, but these are the times that try men's souls. We had a good (1.5) hrs together & we were thankful for that much. Luck was with us because this campground is soon to close for the winter season. We said our goodbyes by the M H & wished each other a comfortable winter. Thanks guys, for a short but good visit.

We were back on the road again @ 11:00am. Taking I-71 thru Columbus & Cincinnati Ohio, & then catching I-64 in Louisville, Kentucky & then State road-62 to Corydon, Indiana.

Again our timing was good as we whizzed thru Columbus shortly after noontime & Cincinnati about 3:15pm just ahead of the rush hr, arriving @ the Grand Trails campground in Corydon @ 5:02pm.

Today's travel: 354 miles 6+30 travel time 55 gal used 6.5 mpg 54 mph avg speed.

Our campground book & Kathy's conversation with the office indicated that they could handle a big rig. When we arrived, the fellow who met us & would help us back into our campsite was heard saying: "I've never seen a motorhome this big!"

It took me about (15-20) min & @ least (5-7) watchers & directors to back into the chosen camp site. Yes, there were obstacles, obstacles, & more obstacles but we did it. We couldn't open our slides but we were happy to have a gravel spot with 50 amps. The people we met were very congenial & helpful, pleasant & most interested in our high-tech M H.

Dinner: Chicken noodle soup from the Nicktown picnic, with bread & leftover Stromboli from the Blue Goose in Nicktown.

We each slept on our individual couches for the night.

Lights out: 11:07pm.

Awake: 6:40am Temp 51 sleep 7+08 overcast overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

My 1st chore this morning: wrap the electrical unit for campsite # 2 for winter. Then I disconnected our landline phone service & wiring on campsite # 1, & wrapped the extra cord, stashed it into the electrical box itself & taped it to the inside. Then wrapped campsite # 1 for winter. Next I brought in the shore cable & switched off all outside circuit breakers.

After a cereal breakfast, I started the M H engine, pulled about (75) ft forward & shut the engine down. Then K & I walked over to Chuck's home & said our goodbyes to both he & Polly, plus we extended our wish for his wife Shirley to enjoy a speedy recovery from her back surgery (she's due to return home from the rehab center tomorrow).

With the Suzuki hitched up in back of the M H, Kathy checked the turn signals, break lights, & tow bar...& we were on the road again @ 10:33am.

(1) stop en route for comfort & to check the equipment... we arrived @ the Baylor Beach Park in Navarre, Ohio @ 2:38pm.

Today's travel: 204 miles 4+01 time 37 gal used 5.7 mpg 45 mph avg speed.

Kathy wasted no time in calling Mickey & Roger letting them know we have landed. So our meeting place for dinner tonight is "Grinders Above & Beyond" in Canton, OH, about (11) miles...one way, across town.

We were a mere (4) min late arriving @ Grinders; Mickey motioned to follow her to our table & there they were: my Aunt Bertha, age 97 & looking very good, Mickey's husband Roger & cousin, Betty Ann. My Aunt B is amazingly young looking; she has silver hair, clear skin, does not look her age & has a fantastic memory.

This restaurant is a favorite of these folks & they frequent it often; so we took our cues from them as to what to order. K & I each had the broiled orange roughy dinner with chopped salad & a starch. Another feast of large proportions that we could have shared, although the fish portions were not that big, the accompanying garlic rice for me & baked sweet potato for Kathy were gargantuan. Now we can look forward to a delicious leftover accompaniment for a future meal.

We were lucky to catch these cousins tonight & spent some good conversation time with them. We wish each other a good winter & perhaps we'll see them again next spring.

@ our M H, Kathy called Joan in Navarre & got the word that they will pick us up @ 8:30 am tomorrow to have breakfast @ the "Amish Door" restaurant nearby in Wilmot. This act of kindness will save us time as we can have our Suzuki hooked up 1st thing in the morning & be ready to roll after breakfast.

Lights out: 11:13pm.

Awake: 5:32am Temp 38 sleep 5+44 overcast overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

My 1st cousin Florentz joined us @ our Koffee Klub meeting this morning. I must admit, he was a little reluctant & told me that he was not going to make a habit of doing this. Well, by the end of our session, he leaned over & quietly said: "This was nice. I just might find my way over here again."

While Kathy visited the big city of Barnesboro, I cleaned up the portable water canisters & then replaced both canisters with (2) new filters.

Late morning, K & I motored to Ebensburg & visited my brother for about (35) min. Then we visited my 1st cousin Richard @ the care center: Haden Manor. I had to keep my promise of visiting Richard (1) more time before leaving the area for (6) months. We wish Richard a comfortable winter & hopefully we will see him again in April. He seemed to really appreciated our (40) min visit.

Then we motored to St. Augustine & visited Gary & Rosemary. We brought the 1986 Snapper lawnmower with us as Gary offered to store it for the winter in his garage. This time I cleaned the mower fairly well so it won't derogate his clean garage too much.

Rosemary had her kitchen table all set when we arrived around 3:45pm, & Gary was armed & ready with the wine glasses & healthy snacks. Gary & I kibitzed in the kitchen while the ladies sat in the living room & said nice things about their husbands & how lucky they are to have married us.

Gary, the amazing fellow that he is, has been fully retired now for about a month & he loves it. I think this is his 3rd retirement. Now Rosemary has to adjust to having Gary home all the time...just like Kathy had to adjust when I retired.

Anyway, Rosemary made one of my favorite dinner dishes: ole fashion meat loaf with baked potatoes, fresh corn off the cob from their garden, warm rolls, raw vegetable plate, & pumpkin pie made by Gary for dessert.

After dinner, I knew Rosemary was planning on playing a few games of "diminishing bridge" which I really enjoy....but tonight, I humbly requested that we just casually talk. My mind was somewhat focused on our leaving Nicktown tomorrow & I still had a number of things to do before dark. Instead, because these guys are so good to us & we always have a good time together, I foreclosed on the evening chores tonight & simply enjoyed some more good talk. We finally said our goodbyes,wished each other safe travels & headed back to Nicktown.
At the motorhome, I was tempted on wearing my headlamp to catch up on a few outdoor chores but it was cold & very dark....so I'll do that stuff early tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, Kathy called my cousin Mickey in Canton, Ohio to find out if they & my Aunt Bertha & cousin, Betty Ann would be available for a dinner gathering tomorrow evening. Mickey thought it would work but asked us to call when arriving @ the Baylor Beach campground.

Then we both called Mark & Joan in Navarre, Ohio & suggested a rendezvous for breakfast Wednesday morning. They too, would like a call tomorrow evening to firm up our get together. Sadly, Mark's brother, Linus, died suddenly this morning & they are waiting to learn of funeral arrangements.

Lights out: 11:32pm.

Awake: 6:43am Temp 39 sleep 7+02 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Mid morning, I topped our pure water tank off in prep for traveling. Then we visited the Foote Castle & family for the remainder of the afternoon.

Déjà vu; Matthew & I had so much fun last Tuesday pulling out solid state devices from the old dish washer circuit board that he couldn't wait to do it again. So down to the basement we went. After testing the units we rescued, Matthew collected them in a plastic container to be experimented with later using his Snap Circuit Electronics kit.

Due to running out of usable resistors, capacitors, transistors, etc from the old Circuit board, we decided to take apart a non-working iron manufactured in Korea. At 1st, I was gentle in my disassembly & truly intended to find the problem. But, so much plastic & un-snapping sections that had to be done just right, discouraged my direction & so I tore into this high-tech machine with vigor & collected some more parts (electronic) that were added to Matthew's growing collection.

Kathy played with Andrew & Nathan & held Gregory for a short time. I also spent a little time with both Andrew & Nathan before we said our goodbyes to the Foote family. We did some last minute grocery shopping at Wal-Mart on our way back to Nicktown.

Dinner: leftover stuffed pepper, carrot salad, & a fruit salad.

Evening movie: "The World's Greatest Athlete" with John Amos, Jan-Michael Vincent, Tim Conway, Roscoe Lee Browne, Howard Cosell, etc. Hard luck coach Amos returns to his roots in Africa & discovers super-athlete Vincent; enjoyable Disney comedy with excellent special effects. Cosell's classic line: "I've never seen anything like this in my entire illustrious career." 1973. Ah, Disney comedy didn't really give us much laughter nor did we go wild over the special effects. Sorry Walt!

Lights out: 11:48pm.

Awake: 6:41am Temp 51 sleep 6+46 overcast overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Father John Paul from Nigeria arrived late evening yesterday & assisted Father Job in saying this morning's Mass. Afterwards we welcomed him back to Nicktown, where he will spend a month & then move on to York, PA to continue his studies.

After our Koffee Klub meeting, John B. & I checked our well & tried to understand why we are having a check valve leak. We decided that next spring, the well pump will have to be pulled out & a different check valve system installed.

After breakfast, I spent some time working on our basement house plans.
Later, I checked the tire pressure on our motorhome tires & the Suzuki; no additional air needed.

My buddy Ray & I Skype each other for a good (38) min.
How about that mug shot & those pearly white teeth!

After evening vigil Mass, K & I decided to visit the St. Nicholas bar "one more time" & have the bar pizza with a White Belgium beer. Here we met a crowd of Kirsch's, from near & far, who, once a year, visit Nicktown to have their own reunion. I am probably related to some of these folks.... my kind of people. I'll definitely have to check their party out next year.

Evening DVD movie: "Ratatouille" The plot follows Remy, a rat who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant's garbage boy. Ratatouille was released on June 29, 2007 in the United States, to both critical acclaim and box office success, and later won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, among other honors.
Remy, who lives in the attic of a French country home with his brother Emile and a pack led by his father Django. Gifted with a keen sense of smell and taste, Remy aspires to be a gourmet chef, inspired by France's recently deceased top chef, Auguste Gusteau, but instead he is put to work sniffing for rat poison. When the pack is discovered by the home's occupant, they flee into the sewers; Remy becomes separated from the others and ends up marooned underneath Gusteau's restaurant in Paris, conversing with a hallucination of the famous chef. 2007.

Unbelievably cute & most entertaining, even for us seniors.

Lights out: 11:41pm.

Awake: 7:02am Temp 55 sleep 7+00 morning rain....evening rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Late morning, I drove the Toyota to our winter storage bldg, disconnected the battery & put the car cover on. Dave gave me a ride back to our motorhome.

Next I called the Hartford Ins company & cancelled our collision coverage & left the comprehensive on.

Then, I drove the Suzuki to Waterfalls road (2) miles, & filled up (12) gallon bottles & (1) (5) gallon container with delicious spring water. I started filling up our bottles here from our well but it was taking too long. This spring has never gone dry & the water is constant & very convenient for filling up bottles.

And now it was time to change clothes for both of us so we could join my sister Corinne, my brother Don & his wife Josie @ the Blue Goose Restaurant for dinner (2.5)miles. To my knowledge, I have never eaten @ the Blue Goose in all the yrs I've been in Nicktown.

We were very surprised; the dining room is big & well decorated & the food was delicious with very hefty portions. We will definitely frequent this place again when we are hanging around Nicktown.

Lights out: 11:55pm.

Awake: 6:59am Temp 39 sleep 6+40 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

During most of the summer, off & on, I thought about cleaning the roof on the motorhome...this afternoon, I did. But, I didn't expect to have the dirt baked onto the metal roof &, therefore, (3) good hrs of exertion made a nice difference.

During my roof cleaning, Kathy was spending more time on the main floor of our house plans.

Next, I finished mowing a small patch of grass that was too wet to mow on Monday. Then I drained all gas from the Snapper, hosed it down with water & cleaned it up good for winter storage.

Dinner: ham, broccoli, penne pasta casserole.

Nick called while walking home from work in Seattle. We discussed Christmas plans & travel plans for the next several months.

Lights out: 12:02am.

Awake: 5:34am Temp 52 sleep 5+22 windy...cold overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Late morning, Kathy made a trip to Barnesboro driving the Toyota. Among other things, I asked her to top off the tank since we'll be storing this auto sometime this week.

When she returned we drove to Kirschtown & visited Rita; Rita's son, Bill; Lou Anne & Herk. Bill had photos to show us describing his (1) month trip to Tanzania. He traveled with a priest who was visiting his family there.

Next, we visited Bernie @ his home; Bernie is gaining weight & looking good. During our visit time, I helped to set up his new portable room heater. I was impressed with the machine which is very quiet, has wheels so one can easily move it from room to room, & has a remote to control the heat & blower.

Dinner: stuffed peppers with fruit salad.

I called my brother in Ebensburg & we discussed his travel plans & ours for the next several months.

We finished the DVD movie: "Doubt" with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, & Viola Davis. The film opens with Father Flynn (Hoffman) giving a sermon on the nature of doubt, noting that, like faith, it can be a unifying force. The next evening, Sister Aloysius (Streep), the strict principal of the attached school, discusses the sermon with her fellow nuns, the Sisters of Charity of New York. She asks if anyone has observed unusual behavior to give Flynn cause for preaching about doubt, and instructs them to keep their eyes open for any such behavior. 2008. All the mentioned actors were nominated for Oscars at the 2009 ceremonies. What happens next? Don't know do you!

Lights out: 12:19am.

Awake: 5:55am Temp 39 sleep 5+53 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After our breakfast, K & I motored to the Foote Castle & spent most of the afternoon with the boys & Melissa.

This was one time that I had no idea of what to do with the boys; Matthew kept asking: "what can we do?" And a few min later: "what are we going to do?" Even Andrew was focused on this awkward dilemma. Time ticked away as we sauntered around the house aimlessly. Then Kathy asked me to do her a favor.

Kathy wanted to wash our blankets, sheets, & other laundry. Since our washing machine is too small to handle a large load, Melissa & Kathy agreed that in exchange for the $2. 65 that Melissa owed Kathy, Kathy would use the Foote washer & dryer to accomplish this task.

I was asked to carry the laundry from our car (3) loads to the basement & Matthew volunteered to help with this project. As I was walking around, I spotted the circuit board from their old Maytag dishwasher, which a few months ago, developed a problem & Maytag replaced the circuit board with a new one.

I suggested to Mathew that we could increase his supply of resisters, transistors, capacitors, etc just by removing some of the old solid state devices using a soldering iron. Then we could test the unit & if it tested good, add it to his Snap Circuit collection. Matthew was thrilled.

Kathy played upstairs with Andrew who was busy creating with the Geomegs & with Nathan who demonstrated his skill in puzzle working. But on one of her trips to the basement, Nathan & Andrew followed.

Soon Andrew joined in watching over us on a cooler as a stool; the soldering iron melted the solder & out would come an LED light, or a capacitor, or a resistor. The boys were mesmerized. Even Nathan got into the picture, but not for long as he is a professional climber & that meant....trouble.

We also had some outside time by mowing & raking the grass, throwing & bouncing a large rubber ball, a little Frisbee tossing, etc. Then the boss arrived from work & we had some real entertainment; flying lessons for Andrew.
It was another fun day with some electronics thrown in the equation.

K & I did a little grocery shopping @ Martin's & Wal-Mart en route to Nicktown.

Dinner: Hamburger with blue cheese & onions, sourdough bread, spinach salad & cantaloupe slices.

Katrina called while driving home from school. We talked for a good (20) min. She is driving to Jackson Hole, WY on Fri to attend the wedding of a good high school friend, Derek & then, of course, back on Sun. We hope she has safe travels

Evening DVD movie: "Doubt." We watched ½.

Lights our: 12:02am.

Awake: 6:40am Temp 41 sleep 6+53 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After breakfast, Kathy motored to the big city of Barnesboro for her usual library, thrift store & grocery shopping bonanza.

Meanwhile, I couldn't wait to experience the Snapper lawn mower clipping those grass tips for a final seasonal thrill. After a few rounds around the inside of our circular drive, our near neighbor, Mac, spotted me & about (15) min later, he had his riding mower out from the shed but was having trouble keeping his mower engine running.

I'm not sure what caused the problem but we did manage to keep his motor running by slowly working the choke; then he roared off & started mowing around his house.

The next time I saw Mac, he was "pushing" his riding mower back toward his shed; again I shut down the Snapper to see if I could be of help. Mac told me his engine was backfiring & speeding up & slowing down. Well, I checked his fuel filter & that was fine....but the backfiring, hmmm. Déjà vu I thought. I've experienced this same problem before. Lifting up his seat, it was easy to spot the battery post corrosion on the positive post & also, the negative post connection was loose. Mac brought out his tools so we cleaned & tightened both connections. He had his lawn finished way before I did.

After finishing mowing the inner circle, I changed my focus & used my small sickle to cut down some tall weeds in our lower field. Before leaving Nicktown, I want to be sure our septic system is working correctly. Shortly after I finished the weed job, Kathy arrived. I asked for her assistance; the test lasted a mere (15) min & all systems worked as advertised.

Back to mowing the west side & my paths & finished around 5:30.

Dinner: BLT's, fresh cantaloupe & leftover fruit salad.

Karen from the Villages in Florida Skyped Kathy & they had a chat session.

Lights out: 12:02am.

Awake: 7:20am Temp 47 sleep 7+35 overcast & cold wind overnight @ Nicktown.

I finished reading the book: "Twice Surreal" by Stuart Gardner Hunt; then continued reading some of my aviation magazines.

Mid afternoon, K & I motored to Ebensburg, 1st some light grocery shopping @ the West End Market, & then we visited my brother Don & his wife, Josie.

My brother met us outside wearing his dirty work clothes; that was a surprise as I am not accustomed to seeing him doing manual work. He showed me the roof fan we tried in vain to get working August 25th; now that the motor has a new set of bearings installed, we are ready & willing to get this project finished. Just to be on the safe side, as a test, I plugged the fan motor in @ the garage & it purred like a kitten.

Although the wind was cold with mostly dark clouds, my brother & I climbed the ladder & replaced the roof exhaust fan for their sunroom grill. "Turn the roof fan on" my brother hollered to Kathy, who was downstairs in the sun room. Up on the roof, nothing happened. We fiddled with that roof fan for another (20) min to no avail.

Finally, we surmised for now that maybe, the rheostat might be the culprit. That will be on our list for the next visit.

Don & Josie always treat us more lavishly than we deserve. This visit was no exception; wine with snacks & plenty of yakety-yak time. Then a dinner of pizza & a cherry turnover. We had a time commitment & had to leave for Nicktown to attend the Living Rosary & the beginning of 40-hrs.

Evening movie: "One Potato -Two Potato." We watched ½.

Light out: 11:47pm.

Awake: 5:59am Temp 48 sleep 5+57 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, K & I motored to the Blue Spruce Park, (6) miles north of Indiana, PA., where we joined up & walked with the Foote family in the "Walk for Diabetes." Today we had perfect weather for this annual occasion. The walk is about (1.5) miles around the lake with (2) snack stops for water and/or apples for thirst or hunger.

The Foote family was in no hurry what so ever & Kathy saw to it that we would definitely finish last. She was running with Nathan, bending over to his level (2 yrs old) to catch up to Kevin & me & the other (2) guys. After about 100 yards, they both fell on the asphalt road. Fortunately, he only hurt his upper lip & Kathy only skinned both hands, left elbow & got a huge hematoma on her left knee. Of course, that little mishap caused a major delay, but we were able to continue, ...besides, it was not a race but a walk & we made it last & had a good time! We were not only the last group arriving back to the starting point but about 90% of the crowd had already dispersed & left the park altogether by the time we finished.

Yes, in life, you should take time to smell the roses or enjoy watching the geese bathe their torsos in the lake like Andrew & Nathan,.
From here, K & I returned to Nicktown in time to attend the 6:00pm vigil Mass @ St. Nicholas Church. Afterward, John, Bill, Kathy & I again patronized the Nicktown Hotel & bar, having some pizza by the slice & beer by the glass....with lots of good yakety-yak time.

Evening movie: "Little Fugitive" with Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, Richie Andrusco, Rickie Brewster, etc. A young boy who thinks he has killed his brother wanders lost through Coney Island. A lyrical little comedy-drama produced independently & on a threadbare budget. A minor classic. 1953. This was quite interesting to watch, made more so by the fact that the 1st (20) min did not record, so we had no idea why this lad was spending a lot of his piggy bank money & all alone, day & night.

Lights out: 11:45pm.

Awake: 5:59am Temp 45 sleep 6+06 rain...morning & afternoon Nicktown.

After breakfast, I called Gruss Electronic Repair in Johnstown & found out our DVD unit was ready for pick up. So after breakfast, we dash down to Scalp Ave, get our DVD unit, & then stock up on some Italian sausage, sourdough bread, ground beef, pork chops, & cheese @ Conzetties.

Next, we visited the nearby Wal-Mart & continued our grocery shopping.

Back @ our motorhome, I wasted no time in installing our DVD unit & checking it out; so far, so good.

Dinner: Pork chops, broccoli, fried noodles & apple sauce.

Evening movie: "The Bull Fighter & the Lady" with Robert Stack, Joy Page, Gilbert Roland, Katy Jurado, Virginia Grey, John Hubbard. Cocky American visiting Mexico decides that he wants to tackle bullfighting & enlists the aid of the country's leading matador with tragic results. Produced by John Wayne. 1951. "Interesting enough to stay awake for," is my comment; just the opposite for Kathy.

Lights out: 12:02am.

Awake: 6:30am Temp 41 sleep 6+43 overcast overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Shortly after noontime, Rick from Al's Tire Service called to let me know the tires were on their way so I should come on down.

I brought a book along that I have been reading & have a hard time putting down (Twice Surreal by Stuart Gardner Hunt), a true story. And so my time went fast waiting for the tires, oil change, lube job & air filter change to be finished.

I was @ the counter getting ready to pay the bill when Kathy called: she asked me if I could be back in Nicktown in (15) min. "Theresa & Janet volunteered to pick us up & drive to Loretta!" she said" "I am checking out now," I answered.

Today is the closing of a nine day novena to St Teresa at the monastery of the Carmelite Sisters. A guest priest from Kentucky has conducted the novena & he will give the final talk followed by Benediction & the distribution of roses to all in attendance. This is a very popular happening; the chapel was overfilled, requiring chairs to be set up in the aisle. Definitely worth our time!

Dinner: Italian veggie bowl.

Evening movie: "The Bull Fighter & the Lady." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:53pm.

Awake: 7:30am Temp 47 sleep 8+33 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

After a good night's sleep & breakfast, I called Al's Tire Service & ordered (4) new tires for our Suzuki. The current set of tires have (42,000) miles on them.

I spent quite a bit of time on our computer this day, trying to catch up on my personal e-mail.

K & I attended 6:00pm Mass &, afterward, joined our small group for Catechism Class with Father Job.

After getting our halos a little untarnished, Kathy, Theresa, John & I visited the bar side of the St. Nicholas Hotel & each had a glass of "Belgium White" beer....with lots of good conversation.

Lights out: 11:47pm.

Awake: 4:46am Temp 50 sleep 5+ 30 windy-overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

For several months now, Koffee Klub member John & I have been tossing around the idea of making a trip to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (National Air & Space Museum) on the grounds of the Washington Dulles Int'l Airport. We decided just yesterday to make it happen...today.

I should have set an alarm; usually I awake about 5:00am anyway but last night I was up to look @ the clock (4) times. I didn't want to be late for our rendezvous. John was a mere (2) min late & admitted that he too, did not sleep well, watching the clock.

We left Nicktown @ 6:03am, driving the Toyota. Last night Kathy had checked the distance to our destination, (200) miles with an estimated driving time of (3.5) hrs. As we went further southeast, the weather got better.

We stopped for breakfast in Leesburg, VA (taking about 30min) & arrived @ the Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, VA @ 10:35am.

John is an airplane nut like me & this visit will be his 6th time. He practically has the (163+) aircraft memorized, in fact as we walked & gawked, he would let me know that: "they moved that WWII bomber over there, it used to be over on this side." "Look over there Monte, they hung that sports plane from the ceiling; I guess they needed more space for the WWII fighter", etc, etc.
There were plenty of docents giving tours throughout the museum. I am guessing, but I believe that each & every one of them has been or are aviators. Of the (3) tours that I joined, they were all very knowledgeable.

After a good (4) hrs of reading, looking, photo clicking, etc, John was more than ready to have a snack @ the museum's McDonald. I joined him but only ate a small filet-o-fish as I didn't want to get sleepy on the return trip.

I really enjoyed seeing this aviation museum, especially discovering the many WWII German & Japanese fighter planes on display that I've never seen before.

In this corner, the famed B-29 Bomber, a P-38, a P-47 Thunderbolt + a few old civilian aircraft.

We left the museum & very nice weather @ 3:40pm; by retracing our course & leaving a little early, we also beat most of the D.C. traffic going our way. It didn't take John very long to have a good snooze en route. About (50) miles from Nicktown, low clouds with mist overcame our scenic views, & later, rain showers.

I dropped John off @ his car @ 6:32pm. We both felt that our trip & the aviation museum were GREAT!

Meanwhile, Kathy spent her day @ the Foote Castle, playing with her favorite little PA guys. Andrew delighted in showing Kathy how he could make a siren sound & a bulb light using the Snap Circuit 101.

Matthew showed Kathy how he can now entertain Nathan by reading him a book. It was a fun day!

I arrived in our motorhome a mere (10) min before she did; such timing.

Dinner: leftover beef stew with cantaloupe & rice pudding.

Lights out: 10:57pm

Awake: 5:55am Temp 52 sleep 6+01 off & on heavy rain overnight @ Nicktown.

After our Koffee Klub meeting & back in our motorhome, I called the Newell Service dept in Oklahoma & made a reservation for a Preventive Maintenance check for our motorhome; date: 19 of October.

Next I filled the pure water tank so Kathy could do (1) load of laundry. While the washing machine was doing its thing, Kathy scooted down to Barnesboro to get her once a week "BIG City" experience.

About 3:15pm, Rosemarie & Gary arrived with big smiles; I was just finishing up the outside water works & was surprised about how fast time flew. I thought they were scheduled for 4:00 pm but I didn't say anything because I'd rather not embarrass myself by having a weak memory.

Anyway, we got right down to business talking about our children, grandchildren, winter travel plans, etc. And of course, we had to have a little healthy snack with this high-powered conversation & maybe a little libation accompanied with some special cheese. This high-powered "chew the fat" went on for hrs until Kathy suggested that we eat her special meal so we could play a game afterward.

Dinner: Italian veggie bowl with multi grain bread & brown rice pudding & cookies for dessert..

The game: "Diminishing Bridge." Gary & Rosemary first taught us this game when visiting them in Florida. So it's every man/woman for himself & did we have fun! We played (2) full rounds & could have played more but the evening was quickly turning into nighttime, & so, we bade farewell to R & G for now until we see them again. No, they did not ride their motorcycle on this visit!

Lights out: 11:16pm.

Awake: 6:26am Temp 55 sleep 5+50 rain, most of day overnight @ Nicktown.

Today was a good day to stay indoors & focus on things we need to be doing; so after a 1st class breakfast: veggie omelet with bread & fruit, we got the main floor house plans out & concentrated on how we can shrink the hexagon & still have enough room for a comfortable kitchen. Time went quickly without making any bold decisions but we do have ideas for later.

Next we considered the basement hexagon & how that will fit in the plan of shrinkage. It's really difficult to visualize the square footage of a room without seeing it in person. We literally spent some of the morning & most of the afternoon on these house plans.

Dinner: BLT's with potato chips & cantaloupe.

Evening movie: "Blown up" with Vanessa Redgrave, David Hemmings, Sarah Miles, Jill Kennington, etc. Writer-director Antonioni's hypnotic pop-culture parable of photographer caught in passive lifestyle. Arresting, provocative film, rich in color symbolism, many layered meanings. 1966. Different, really different. Perhaps one has to watch this movie a few times to get the full message.

Lights out: 11:54pm.


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