April 2010 Archives

Awake: 4:58am       Temp 43      sleep 4+42      mostly sunny       overnight @ Mansfield, Ohio ...Fair Grounds.

Kathy did (1) laundry load this morning while I detached our Suzuki from the bus; then she drove to the front office to pay our &12.00 camping fee while I reeled in the Shore cable & water hose & pulled the coach about (30) feet forward to dump our gray water.

 Before we left the campground, I sent an e-mail to Mark & Joan who live near Navarre, Ohio, telling them expect our arrival @ their place between (9:00 & 10:00am) this morning.

Getting out of this campground & motoring on U.S.-30 was so much easier than how Dean led us in.

We found U.S.-30 & headed east. After about (45) miles, we exited U.S.-30 east & headed south on State Road-21, then left on Brinker Rd & a left onto Beth Av where we saw both Mark & Joan up ahead waiting for our arrival. Time now: 9:50am.

Today's travel: 67 miles 1+57 time 13 gal used 5.3 mpg 34 mph avg speed.

Over a year ago, Mark was planning on inviting us to Ohio & to have us park in their driveway & stay awhile. But on October 13th of last yr, when we stopped for a short visit & parked @ the Baylor Beach campground for the night, he looked @ our coach & said to himself: "Wow! That thing is big."

Since then, he did some measuring & careful planning which convinced himself that "yes" this was workable. I had no idea that he was planning such a thing. So when I e-mailed him from Newell......my exact words were: "if you guys are going to be home basically this month, we would like to stop in & spend some time with you. By the way, how much weight can your driveway handle anyway? And that 50 amp plug, is that still located in the garage?"

Well, I was just kidding with him but as it turned out, he was definitely ready for us save for the 50-amp plug. I was leery about driving over the culvert as it is "40" yrs of age & rusty. And Kathy was apprehensive & most definitely opposed to the idea.

After a few more e-mails along the way, I was convinced we would be just fine. After detaching the Suzuki, the "eyes" took their respective positions & I pulled forward past the mailbox, then watching my mirrors & the guiding eyes + hand signals, I began the backing up process. Mark's new front sidewalk was missed by inches; Joan's small flower garden was also missed by inches. Next, the big barn & tree stump. Here my eyes had me doing a slow maneuver &, by golly, missing that tree stump by inches & getting close to the concrete & barn; all went well thanks to the efforts of the wonderful guiding team. DSC09250.JPG We sat & talked in the kitchen & updated each other for hrs. Then, a delicious dinner by Joan: Pork roast, blue Hubbard squash, homemade rhubarb sauce, & homemade bread; all complimented by Mark's homemade wine.

After dinner, more talk & we invited them over to our coach for a late evening movie.

Sometime after 11:00pm, they returned to their beds & @ 12:24am, our lights went off.
Awake: 5:55am    Temp 52    sleep 7+11     cloudy    overnight @ Corydon, Kentucky.... Wal-Mart parking lot.

I ran the generator for an hr this morning while Kathy was doing some light shopping @ Wal-Mart.

Then we left @ 8:10am & drove on, following I-64 to Louisville & changing to I-71 northbound. About (251) miles from Corydon, we made a fuel stop @ a Pilot Travel Center in Pendleton, Kentucky. 143.4 gal @ 2.99.9 per gallon.

Just as I finished fueling, the mist turned to drizzle & then rain; about the same time, Melissa called from PA. So to keep our recently clean coach...clean, I pulled out of the fueling area, & into a truck parking spot & shut the engine down. We both had a good (25) min total chat about some of their adventures to, during & from Anchorage, Alaska.

After her call, while waiting for the rain to subside, we had some lunch & finally, spots of blue could be seen above so we took to the road again. I-71 started out fairly smooth & then the further north we went, the rougher the road got. Many times I would hop into the left lane just to avoid the repair patches, which seemed to be rougher . Approaching downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. DSC09247.JPG We both wanted to stop @ a Costco store for more groceries before arriving @ our destination today & fortunately, using the computer, Kathy found an easy off/easy on Costco that would work for us before the rush hour began in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Deerfield Township Costco was located across from a Super Target store & combined; there was a huge parking area...which accommodated our bus nicely. We did our shopping, grocery & otherwise & we were back "on the road again" within (40) min.

As we continue northbound on I-71, Kathy began the campground search using our books, computer & cell phone. It took awhile but finally she honed in on the Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield, Ohio.

She called but only got a recording stating that the office was closed & listing numbers of other offices. She called one of those numbers & was referred to another. The next call was to be to the man who was in charge of the campground, but he was out of town so his wife gave Kathy another number to call. Another number, another wife! But she got our number & said she'd have her husband call, which he did.

Dean agreed to meet us at an exit off of I-71 & lead us to the Fairgrounds campground. The meeting went without a hitch, but following him in his car on the long drive thru city streets & sharp turns with some low hanging tree limbs...got my attention. Ah, at last we arrived & were led to a parking spot on the road with only a regular house electrical outlet on a tall post.It was kind of funny but we chuckled to ourselves.

Dean, who usually had nothing to do with the campground, went in search of help. He returned & had us follow him again to the real campground. This time we were facing the wrong way & had to follow him again, making a rather tight turn.

Finally, in a position on the road where we could extend our shore cable & water hose about 40 ft to the hookups, we did just that. It only took about 2 hours from hwy exit to campsite, but we finally settled in. Dean was very nice & gentle & really tried to help us, but he was definitely out of his element.
Showing one small section; we were the only campers in this campground of over (200) sites. DSC09249.JPG Today's travel: 317 miles 6+26 drive time 54 gal used 5.9 mpg 49 avg speed.

Dinner: Tuna steak, rice with golden raisins, mixed salad & a cutie.

Lights out: 12:16
Awake: 5:35am      Temp 58      sleep 5+37      cloudy      overnight @ Newell campsite, Miami, Oklahoma.

The early bird drivers finally caught us off guard. I thought we were 2nd in line for the alignment machine this morning, but the coach that was already on the alignment machine was unfinished from the factory, so the powers that be decided they had better take the recent, patiently waiting clients 1st & that be us.

Our slides were still out, water filter still hooked up, etc. In about (20) min, Kyle was behind the wheel & drove us to the bay where he lined us up on the alignment machine.

The tech (cannot remember his name @ the moment), got right after our coach; I watched him for awhile & to my surprise, & maybe his too, my front steering parameters were perfect. "It's rare to see this reading so good," he told me. The rear axles reading were not bad but not good enough to pass. He probably spent about (45) mins getting the rear end to match the front end. All in all, Mr.Blank has the reputation of being: the best!

Within the hr, Dave drove our coach back to the campground & left the engine running for us. I drove our coach & parked it so we could hook up our tow car.

I suspected that Kathy didn't realize we were finished save for paying our bill. That too went quickly; much of our bill consisted of non chargeable services even though our warrantee is up.
Kathy & I both said our goodbyes to some of the people we hung out with & some of the techs, office personal, etc. And then, @ 9:40am, we were "on the road again." Following US-69 to US-400 to Baxter Springs to I-44 & crossing the Mighty Mississippi River into East St. Louis, Illinois. DSC09240.JPG Then we change to I-64 to Corydon, Kentucky where we parked in a big & spacious area of Wal-Mart's lot for the night.

We arrived @ 7:20pm just as the sun was fading away.

Today's travel: 550 miles 10+00 hrs 79 gal used 6.9 mpg 55 mph avg speed.

I-44 & I-64 were very smooth, scenic & not so much traffic. Where we parked, we had plenty of space to open our slides.

Our dinner consisted of some healthy snacks & we were in bed with lights out by 10:44pm.

Awake: 6:33am      Temp 48       sleep 7+13       sunny       overnight in Newell campground.

Latest report on the alignment machine; the critical part has arrived. It should be fixed & ready for action on Wednesday. What to do today that I haven't done yesterday?

Ah, but Kathy & her friend, Cheryl, already have another touring plan for today, so around 11:45am, they were off to see some more of the countryside.

Today for me was like déjà vu of yesterday; talked with Paul (Cheryl's husband), watched the alignment expert doing his testing stuff, took a few photos & casually watched those techs making repairs on other coaches. I think I'm ready to hit the road!

Mid afternoon, I spotted Kathy the cleaner; she had her rolling cleanup equipment outside of our coach. She asked me where my Kathy was & I told her about Cheryl's tours. She also asked me if this would be a good time to clean our coach. "Perfect timing," I told her. And so I did another hr of déjà vu.

Meanwhile, for my 2nd round of deja vu, I take a photo of "perhaps the oldest Newell motorhome still running." A 60's version.... & not for sale. DSC09225.JPG Meanwhile, Kathy & Cheryl decided they would avoid the toll road & headed out in search of a park to do some walking. "Twin Bridges State Park" was their first attempt, but it was mostly a fishing/boat launching area; no walking paths.

They then decided to find "Monkey Island," a strip of land in the center of the widest part of Grand Lake O' the Cherokees, where the owners of Newell Co. live. They were successful in finding the Island & rode thru several very nice housing areas, but could not find an area to walk. At last, they stumbled upon a walking path at Bernice State Park, bordering & offering great views of Grand Lake. Unfortunately the walking path was not as long as they would have liked, but they did manage to walk for about 45 min.

They decided to check out Grove, OK, the largest city on Grand Lake (6,011). The GPS, for whatever reason, did not recognize Grove & led them somewhere else. After riding around, totally lost for a while & after asking 2 different people, they finally found Grove, parked the car & explored some of the town, including a well stocked kitchen store & a religious store.

Now it was getting to be time to get back to Newell. Their adventure was not over as they missed a turn & wound up in KS. Kathy called @ 5:00 to let me know they were fine, just lost & would find their way back. They did, returning about 6:00 pm.

They commented about the many gambling Casinos they had seen during their afternoon travel & that all had full parking lots...gamblers? Used car lots? They had to laugh at themselves, in order to avoid a 75 cent toll, they probably spent several dollars on gas! But again they had a good time, lots of talk & laughter & an afternoon away from the tedium of waiting around Newell. Next time, I think I'll take Cheryl's offer & ride with them.

Dinner: Turkey, rice soup, bread, & cutie oranges.

Evening movie: "The Sea Hawk." We watched 1/4.

Lights out: 12:02am.
Awake: 5:15am      Temp 56      sleep 5+13      sunny     overnight @ Newell campground.

No hurry to get out of bed this morning but the early wake up is a habit. Kathy enjoyed some extra zzzzz's however.

We were probably getting our coach washed around 9:00am with the cell phone inside & we were outside when Katrina called with a "Happy Anniversary" message. Thanks Katrina; glad to hear Denver's weather shaped up to allow the mountain climbing & hiking sports, etc. And we sure enjoyed our time with you & your many friends during our visit. Here is our coach getting the water works & a good washing in the bay. DSC09224.JPG After the washing, our coach was returned to site # 8. Around 11:00am, Kathy & I had been invited to join Cheryl on a tour of Claremore, OK & the Will Rogers Museum. I declined this generous offer to keep an eye open for glitches that the techs find on other coaches & sometimes explain the fix I can understand. Cheryl's husband Paul & I got some good gabbing time in...on & off during the (4+) hrs the ladies' were absence.

Now that our coach is washed & the safety recall notice has been satisfied, the only thing left to do is the alignment, so I've also been watching the man working diligently to re-calibrate that system. DSC09232.JPG During my spare time, I continued taking photos of the building process on a Newell coach. DSC09227.JPG Most of the Newell coaches being built now are using the Cummings 625 horse power engine with a choice of transmissions. DSC09228.JPG If you look closely you can see the 4 slides already set on the steel structure. DSC09230.JPG Outside & closer to the Newell campground, there is a display of pre-owned coaches, starting from year 2003 or earlier & up through 2010. DSC09226.JPG Kathy & Cheryl returned about 4:45pm & Kathy gave me a full report. The Will Rogers Museum was first built in 1938, three yrs after Will's death, on 20 acres that he bought in 1911 for his retirement home. It was added onto in 1982 & the whole museum remodeled 1990-1995.

It is on a beautiful site overlooking the Tiawah Valley; Will Rogers & his wife are interred in a sunken garden overlooking this valley. The museum, devoted to his life, wisdom, & humor houses memorabilia, photographs, Rogers's lariats, costumes, saddles for his horse Soapsuds, movie posters, personal belongings and original manuscripts of his writings.

Various galleries display his many careers, from the "Cherokee Kid" trick roper (Rogers was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for throwing three ropes at once) to Hollywood's highest paid movie star.

Will Rogers made 71 movies during his career, both silent and "Talkies." The movies run continuously from 8 AM to 5 PM in the museum's mini-theater, but Kathy & Cheryl due to time constraints did not watch any. However, they did watch a 20 min movie of his life.

They also traveled to Oolagah to see Will Rogers' birthplace house. It is a two-story house built in 1875 with a beautiful view of Lake Oolagah. The museum was well worth the trip; the birthplace not so much. But Kathy & Cheryl had a great, fun time together.

Dinner: Chile with pasta, & an orange cutie.

Evening movie: "Saturday Night Fever" with John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali, Paul Pape, Donna Pescow, Julie Bovasso, etc. Travolta's first starrig film is thoughtful study of Brooklyn youth who finds only meaning in his life when dancing at local disco. Film pulses to dynamic Bee Gees music score ("Night Fever," "How Deep Is Your Love," "Staying Alive,"etc). 1977. Terrific movie for the time period; but some may be offended with the street language & sexual scenes.

Lights out: 11:20pm.

Awake: 8:33am     Temp 58     sleep 7+19     overcast     overnight @ the Newell campground.


Mid morning, we had a Skype call from Mary Ann & Bob in Memphis; they gave us a "Happy Anniversary" wish & then we proceeded to update each other for the next (45-50) min on our Apple Computer. Bob is considering retirement within the yr, but is still undecided, and Mary Ann discussed the pharmacy situation for the near future which is not looking too bright for her as Walgreen's has purchased the stores for which she has worked for the last many years. Their granddaughter, Emily (Tommy's daughter), was visiting so we got to meet her; a cute, but busy little girl.


Later, my brother called from PA & we gabbed for (38) min. We covered their upcoming road trips beginning next week & continuing into the summer & our next destinations after our Newell visit. We also brought up the subject of loose choppers that our 1st cousin Richard is still using.


Mid afternoon, I climbed the telescoping ladder & cleaned the pollen & dust off our slide tops.


Dinner: blue cheese bacon burgers, asparagus, mixed salad & cutie oranges.


During the afternoon & evening, (6 or 7) motor coaches arrived for Newell service starting tomorrow.


We finished watching: "The Goodbye Girl" with Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, Paul Benedict, & Barbara Rhoades. Neil Simon's warmest comedy to date puts young actor Dreyfuss and dumped-on divorcee Mason together as unwilling tenants of the same N.Y.C. apartment, explores their growing relationship. Dreyfuss won the Oscar for "best actor". 1977. Good movie; we both enjoyed it.


Lights out: 12:02am.

Awake: 8:10am      Temp 56       sleep 7+20      cloudy   overnight @ Newell campsite # 8.

In between (5) laundry loads, Kathy motored to downtown Miami & picked up (2) tickets for tonight for us to see & hear the "World Famous Platters" perform @ the classic Coleman Theatre. She also stopped in @ the Knots Meat Market for some good bacon, corn beef, ground beef & stew meat.

We attended the 5:00pm vigil Mass @ Sacred Heart Catholic Church; afterwards, we returned to our coach & had a delicious Reuben sandwich for our dinner.

We arrived @ the Coleman Theatre early so I could take some pictures of this eloquent & opulent structure. Originally the Coleman Theatre was a vaudeville theatre & movie palace.

The "Coleman Theatre Beautiful" opened to a full house of 1600 people, at $1.00 a seat, on April 18, 1929. Built by George L. Coleman, Sr., local mining magnate, the opulent structure with Spanish Mission exterior & Louis XV interior design dazzled the audiences of the day. From that day forward the Coleman has never been "dark".

Early birds getting ready for the World Famous Platters. Our reserved seats are further to the left; Kathy was just testing the viewing distance. DSC09212.JPG From the balcony looking down onto the stage area; my flash couldn't reach far enough to light up the stage. DSC09217.JPG Now that's what I call a magnificent chandelier. DSC09219.JPG The loge, usually has box seats, but this one hides the pipes from the mighty Wurlitzer organ. There is one on the other side also. DSC09214.JPG They are not the original Platters; those guys have gone to platter heaven; but the replacements did a fairly good job. DSC09220.JPG In fact, they were so good they had us dancing in the aisles. DSC09222.JPG Now here is a nice looking couple who just happened to be celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary. Kathy's anniversary present to me was (5) of my favorite candy bars; my present to her was seeing the "World Famous Platters." DSC09216.JPG Our present to my sisters Corinne & Mary Jo for remembering our special day is: a BIG: "THANK YOU" to both of you! And a Big "THANK YOU" to Nick in Seattle. Back in our coach, late evening movie: "The Goodbye Girl." We watched ½.

Lights out: 1:14am.

Awake: 6:19 am     Temp 61     sleep 6+18     cloudy     overnight @ Newell campground.


After our morning coffee, we said our goodbyes to Jim & Jessie & left the Newell campground, driving thru sections of (3) States: Oklahoma, Kansas, & Missouri.

It was a mere (31) miles to the Fabick Caterpillar Dealer in Joplin, MO. Chris showed me what the mechanic would be doing on the Safety Recall program & estimated it would take about (2) hrs. He also pointed out the nearby I-Hop restaurant within walking distance.

After a nice breakfast, we crossed the street to check out the Goodwill Thrift store for about an hr. Kathy found a pair of Capri pants & I bought a good looking pair of pants with the Gap label.  


Next, we walked a few more blocks where Kathy bought a spool of thread for her needle pointing @ Jo Ann's. During her time in the store, I talked with my 1st cousin Florentz in PA for (18) min. We discussed his brother Richard, who has been @ the care center for over (2) yrs now; he needs a set of new teeth. When he talks, & he talks a lot, his false teeth begin to fall out. So, some of us are willing to build up a kitty for Richard's new teeth. 

En Route to our coach, we passed by Macadoodles who advertised some good wine prices; Since we are some distance from our coach, I limited our purchase to (4) large quart size bottles of wine packed in a box. My arms were plenty tired by the time we reached our bus. There was no charge for this safety recall fix.  


Today's travel: 63 miles     2+09 time     10.9 fuel used     5.8 mpg     29.3 avg speed.

Oh yes, having those 365 wide tires sure makes a nice difference on  bumpy roads.


We parked in our reserved #8 campsite for the weekend. Light rain began around 4:15pm & continued throughout the evening & night.


Dinner: clam chowder with oyster crackers, cantaloupe & cutie oranges.


Evening movie: "Breakfast @ Tiffany's" with Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Mickey Rooney, etc. Charming film from Truman Capote's story, with Hepburn as Holly Golightly, backwoods girl who goes mod in N.Y.C. Dated trappings don't detract from high comedy and winning romance. 1961. I was a little disappointed; I had held Audrey Hepburn in high esteem but she let me down on this movie. Kathy liked it however.


Lights out: 12:50am.     

Awake: 5:10am      Temp?      sleep 5+50      sunny outside      overnight in Bay #18.

Today Whitey has returned our dashboard to its former look. He was very meticulous, patient, & knowledgeable on the job at hand. I was definitely impressed. Next, Whitey was assigned to fix the water leak on our Pex system... & that too, was done professionally with (3) tests of higher pressure applied. DSC09210.JPG Kathy called our neighbor Chuck in PA. Chuck had pneumonia shortly before we left Nicktown & he is still complaining of tiring more easily & having diminished energy.

Chuck said the pulmonary Dr. gave his lungs a passing report & suggested that his problem is more likely related to a blocked cardiac valve." He will see the cardiologist next week. His wife, Shirley, is making a slow recovery from back surgery. Chuck also said he has already mowed his grass this Spring; looks like we're going to be busy "gardeners" upon our return to Nicktown!

Mid afternoon, Jimmy replaced a small transformer & now my dashboard back-lighting is working again.

We only have (3) things yet to do: the safety recall notice from Caterpillar, the coach alignment & a coach wash, which I passed up last October. We were scheduled for the alignment this afternoon but the computer system on the alignment went sour, so hopefully over the weekend it'll get fixed.

Meanwhile, we are the only one here that needs the Safety Recall fix from Caterpillar. If there were (2-3) more coaches that needed the recall fix, the guy from Joplin, MO, Chris, would have sent a mechanic down here to Newell to take care of that.

Tommy suggested that tomorrow we drive our coach up to Joplin & get the recall taken care of; "that would allow you guys to leave sooner next week," he said.

Caterpillar recently began advising owners of certain C15 engines of a recall. Caterpillar determined that after approximately 500,000 miles of operation, an oil line may wear, create an oil leak, and potentially cause an engine fire.

With the opportunity to get a head start on leaving on Monday or Tuesday of next week, we took the offer & got the name, address, & other data necessary from Tommy to have this done in Joplin, MO tomorrow. Then we were driven to site #8 in the Newell campground, the favored spot as it is the only one close to the dumping area.

Dinner: pork chops, apple sauce, fried noodles, broccoli./asparagus/cauliflower sauté, cantaloupe, & cuties while watching our political programs.

Later, in our coach, we continue watching: "Ball of Fire" with Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oscar Homolka, Dana Andrews, Dan Duryea, S.Z. Sakall, Richard Haydn, Henry Travers, etc. Burlesque dancer moves in with eight prissy professors (led by Cooper) to explain "slang" for their new encyclopedia. 1941. Delightful story; highly recommended by us movie watching experts.

Lights out: 12:01am.
Awake: 5:50am      Temp?      sleep 6+24       sunny outdoors       overnight inside Newell Service Bay. 

Today, Whitey started to reassemble the dash after changing the heater core to a stronger one. Such a bundle of wires & connections! Whitey told me he has done over (100) of these so far & Craig & Roger are slowly catching up. 

A tech with a nickname of Bubbles is now working on making a Grab Bar for our entryway. K & I have been tossing this project around for a few yrs so finally, it will be done. 

Early afternoon, Kathy chose today to take her "tour of the Miami town." She'll be gone for hrs...looking, perhaps making a purchase or two, but mostly looking!

Some of these techs work pretty hard, so when break time comes along, they'll lay down just about anywhere to get a short rest. DSC09209.JPG Chuck, our near neighbor from PA called; he was curious about our arrival time in Nicktown. I let him know what we have been doing & estimated a late April/early May arrival time. He also wanted to talk with Kathy but he'll be patient & wait for tomorrow.

Also today, the paint guys are attaching our new front fenders.

Last Sunday, when I was crawling under the front of our coach to repair a fog light, out of nowhere came this cute, friendly dog. Of course, I petted him, scratched his neck, & introduced myself. I figured I would eventually "meet the parents" & I did.

Both Jessie & Jim came over & introduced themselves & their dogs, Abby & Toby. We chatted for awhile, especially Jim & I, comparing our old 2001 coach to his recently purchased 2003.

As the days went by, we got to know Jessie & Jim fairly well & ended up having our wine & cheese time together in the customers' lounge...after quitting time of course.

Dinner in the lounge: Chicken salad, sugar snap peas, cantaloupe, Como bread, & cutie oranges. Evening movie: "Ball of Fire." We watched (21) mins.

Lights out: 11:20pm.
Awake: 6:13am      Temp?     sleep 6+57      sunny outside     overnight in Bay# 18, Miami, OK.
K & I were dressed, had our coffee & were ready for the techs to arrive in our coach around 6:40 am.   

This morning, Whitey & Craig worked together for about ½ hr, & then Whitey went solo again. He will be removing the heater core & replacing it with a stronger one. I didn't take any photos of our dash being operated on; it was too gruesome to watch; it reminded me of a heart transplant procedure.

At this time, our dash sort of looks similar to this new one on the assembly line, only this one has a lot of wiring yet to get connected. DSC09197.JPG Kathy spent much of her time in the customer's lounge again today...but this time, she had her needle point with her. DSC09205.JPG Today the techs finished installing both wide (365) tires in front with different hubcaps. I am curious as to how well these wide tires will smooth out the road bumps.

Yesterday when Mark finished working on our Pex water leak, I thanked him for a job well done; this morning when I walked around our bus to make a check, a puddle of water was on the floor. Yes, we still have a leak, so it's back on the list.

John B. called from PA. We talked for (40) min. John is now scheduled for knee surgery...I believe early May. He has been putting off this operation for a good (3) yrs now, & finally, he has a date.

                     How to make a Newell motorhome: first build a strong chassis. DSC09204.JPG                Then add some stuff on the inside, some things on the outside & Voila! DSC09203.JPG Dinner in the customer lounge while watching our political programs: salmon, egg salad on fresh spinach, Como bread & cutie oranges.

Tonight's recorded movie: "Julia" with Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Maximilian Schell, Hal Holbrook, Rosemary Murphy, Meryl Streep, etc. Fonda plays Lillian Hellman in adaptation of author's story in Pentimento about her exuberant, unusual friend Julia, and how she drew Hellman into involvement with European resistance movement in 1930's. 1977. Interesting, tho somewhat disconnected at times!

Lights out: 11:26pm.
Awake: 5:19am      Temp 61      sleep 5+45      sunny      overnight @ Newell, Miami, OK.

Kathy & I were ready for the early bird doorbell ding; about 6:45am, Kyle, the driver, retracted the shore cable & drove our bus around to Bay #18.

About an hr later, the techs lifted the front of our motorhome with heavy air jacks, & then stabilized the coach with stationary jacks. Next they removed both tires & rims in preparation for the extension hubs they will put on to accommodate wider tires. With the wider tires, we can go faster & get 50% better miles per gallon. DSC09193.JPG No, that's not true; I wish it were. Wider tires allow us to have less front tire pressure, which in turn, smoothes out the bumps in the road & helps to prevent front tire blowouts. Here we see a tech trying to wipe the blood off his hands due to carelessness. DSC09200.JPG No, that's not true either; he is greasing the spindle in prep for the wider hub by his right leg. Here is a better photo of what will be on that spindle. DSC09194.JPG Later, technician Whitey started working on the inside of our dash. According to the techs, ever since the company has been using the Caterpillar Engine, the pressure output for circulation of coolant for the front heaters, has been stronger than they realized. Quite a few of the 2007 year coaches have had coolant leaks in those heaters; we were one of many. Here we see the back of Mark working on our Pex leak...the water system. DSC09201.JPG Meanwhile, I kept myself busy, not disturbing Whitey but watching the process; same pattern I had with watching Mark & other techs working on other coaches.

Kathy meanwhile, kept busy getting to know the other ladies & gabbing in the customer's lounge.

Dinner: tuna, spinach salad, Como breadm & cutie oranges while watching some of our political programs in the customer's lounge.

Later, in our coach, we finished watching the recorded movie: "Only When I Laugh" with Marsha Mason, Kristy McNichol, James Coco, Joan Hackett, David Dukes, John Bennett Perry, Kevin Bacon. Bittersweet Neil Simon comedy about alcoholic actress Mason struggling to stay off the bottle and her relationship with teenaged daughter McNichol. 1981. Bittersweet it was, & very sensitive with a strong message.

Lights out: 11:16pm. 

Awake: 7:44am    Temp 60    sleep 6+19    sunny    overnight @ North Miami, Oklahoma.


Kathy began making split pea soup, first cooking the ham bone & then the dried peas. However, the soup was too thin causing Kathy to have to make a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up another # of dried peas for the split pea/ham soup.


Then while Kathy needle pointed, I crawled under front of the bus, loosened the right fog light assembly, replaced the broken lens, glued & hopefully waterproofed the replacement lens.


I met Jim & Jesse while crawling underneath the bus; they recently bought a pre-owned Newell & will be having service done starting tomorrow. They are also full timers.


Late afternoon, Kathy called Rosemary in PA & they yakked for about (50) min.

Rosemary shared some of their experiences when volunteering in Livingston, TX as well as some of their other travels. Kathy also caught her up on our travels.



Dinner: Delicious split pea soup with oyster crackers & cutie oranges.


Evening movie: "Only when I laugh." We watched 1/5.


Lights out: 11:34pm.


Awake: 6:56am Temp 56 sleep 7+25 sunny-windy overnight @ Valley Center, Kansas. Here is a sample of a simple pull through campsite with an easy off & on from I-135. DSC09183.JPG Yesterday, from Salina, Kansas, we headed south on I-135, to Valley Center. This morning, we continued south on I-135 to State Road-96, & to US-400 to Baxter Springs; then US-69 into North Miami, Oklahoma & the Newell campground.....arriving @ 12:20pm. DSC09208.JPG Just obey this sign & you will arrive @ the Headquarters of the Newell Coach Corp. DSC09207.JPG The Newell campground & the pre-owned coaches are just around the corner.

Today's travel: 209 miles 3+54 time 37 gal fuel used 5.7 mpg 54 mph avg speed.

Excellent roads today for 99% of the time; the last 20-25 miles were bumpy & rough tho. 

Those cornering winds of yesterday stayed with us ever since we left Denver & driving east on US-400, we were bucking a good headwind.

After parking, K & I walked over to the pre-owned motorhomes & one Show Coach to see if there's anything new & different. But not knowing the digital combination to look inside the coaches, we were out of luck.

Fortunately we were able to go inside the service building & look around @ a few of the 2010 & 2011 motorhomes.

K & I attended the 5:00pm Mass @ Sacred Heart Catholic Church just down the road.

We stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up some dried peas & a few other goodies on our way back to the campground.

Dinner: Sausage, pepper & onions stoop.

Evening movie: "King Solomon's Mines" with Andrew Martin, Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger, Richard Carlson, Hugo Haas. Remake of H. Rider Haggard story is given polished production, with Granger-Kerr-Carlson trio leading safari in search for legendary diamond mines. 1950. Not so bad adventure story; once seen though is enough.

Lights out: 1:25am.
Awake: 6:10am     Temp 35      sleep 6+10     sunny/windy      Overnight @ Englewood, CO.

We had our coffee, retracted the rear slides, drove the bus out from the campsite, hooked up the Suzuki, did the light checks & left the Flying Saucer R.V. resort @ 7:38am. We couldn't wait to join the fun times of morning rush hour, with all the vehicles doing the according maneuver of "stop & go" ...& "go & stop" etc.

Kathy made sure that I followed: US-85 to I-25 to I-225- to I-70 ...& (35) min later, we were eying the open spaces close to the Denver International Airport.

Smooth roads on I-70 all the way to Salina, KS; where we made a Flying "J" fuel stop; (159) gallons @ $2.96 per gallon.

Back on the road again, I asked Kathy to start looking for an easy off/easy on campground for tonight. After checking the books & making several phone calls, she found a small & simple; easy off/easy on with a very reasonable price tag. The campground owner told Kathy they only had (3) sites available for the night. They don't take charge cards or reservations so on Kathy's second call, the owner said he would hold a place, "and you'd better come" he told her.

 We arrived @ the North Star RV Park in Valley Center, Kansas @ 5:30pm.

Today's travel: 522 miles 9+17 time 85 gal used 6.2 mpg 56 mph avg speed.

My arms were a little tired from fighting the constant cross wind with gusts. Aside from that, I enjoyed the view & changing scenery along the way. I didn't realize Kansas had so many stretches of oil wells pumping in the fields & hills. Kathy did get a photo but it was not a close shot. DSC09182.JPG Dinner: Crab cakes, brown rice with golden raisins, asparagus & cutie oranges. We watched some unrecorded political programs...that means we had to mute the commercials.

Lights out: 11:31pm.
Awake: 7: 08am      Temp 31       sleep 5+46       sunny       overnight @ Englewood, CO.

Before heading over to Katrina's condo, I wanted to clean up our act on the motorhome. The windshield was covered with dust from Monday & Tuesday's winds. The more I perused our motorhome, the more dust I saw.

Climbing up on the roof was another surprise. The slide tops & the whole roof were coated with dust, yellow dust. Pollen I would guess. I didn't want that pollen coming into our motorhome so I got out the long hose & hosed the entire motorhome; with emphasis on the slides. I used my brush with water to get most of the dust off. Those slides, when retracted are in our home. Before leaving for K's condo, I retracted the (2) front slides & brought in the water filters.

En Route to K's condo, we made a fast stop & Costco where I, tried on a pair of Teva's, walked around for a test & then bought them.

Katrina worked very hard after school today completely cleaning & organizing the garage. What a nice surprise; it really looked terrific! Good work, Katrina.

Katrina invited a few of her friends, whom she wanted us to meet, over for dinner tonight.
Both Kathy & Katrina began making dinner. I was asked to be the griller tonight as I enjoy that. Time went quickly & before I finished, the 1st couple (Nick & Tammy) arrived. We kept preparing the meal while getting to know Tammy & Nick a little better.

Dinner: pork tenderloin, glazed apples, tuna steak, broccoli, brown rice with spinach, Katrina's special spinach salad, & Como bread.

The meal was a delicious success; thanks to the cooks & my good luck with the grill. We sat around & talked a lot with Tammy & Nick...who have been married for (6) months now & are fun to talk with.

The dishes were all cleaned & put away when Chris & Jen arrived. I think Jen was working late tonight which caused them to be late; they completely missed that wonderful dinner.

Katrina showed Tammy & Jen her newly painted bedroom & everyone marveled @ her clean garage & hanging bikes. We enjoyed meeting Katrina's friends who soon had to leave. Then it was our turn to depart; next time we hope to meet more of K's friends.

We truly enjoyed our time with Katrina, and the work-camping wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, we were not able to complete the job list, but we'll be back. Next time we all agreed, Katrina will work with us, so we'll plan a time when she has off of school. DSC09172.JPG We watch our recorded political programs.

Lights out: 12:00 midnight.
Awake: 6:08am       Temp 32      sleep 6+40      snow... (2--3) inches      mostly sunny overnight @ Englewood, CO.

Due to the snow, especially up on Vale @ 11, 158 feet, we got to enjoy another breakfast with Tom & Marge starting @ 8:30 am this morning.

T & M frequent the Denver area, visiting their kids & grandkids, so they know when to go or not to go...over the mountains & thru the Eisenhower tunnel. It was kind of Mother Nature to convince M & T to stay another day.

Katrina gave me some coupons that we shared with T & M for a buy one/get one free on breakfast this morning. And after breakfast, we bade them a Bon Voyage for tomorrow's trip to Grand Junction. It sure has been great having time to spend together.

Then K & I returned to our motorhome, changed clothes & brought our more fancy clothes with us for later this afternoon. I felt helpless about time ticking away today & was not getting the priority items on Katrina's list finished. Plus, my curiosity was building about the triangular mystery box in Sarah's bathroom.

If I could just make a small hole enough to see...what's in there? Well, it was difficult to make a small hole the way Mystery man had built this box. Small & a little larger cabinet nails were used on pressboard. Pulling out a nail caused some of the pressboard to also come out. Once started, I had to finish...& there folks, is the answer to the mystery!

A dead end water line plug! And the water shut-off valve has yet to be discovered. Ugh! DSC09165.JPG Next project: hang a rather large mirror in Katrina's bedroom. K & I worked together on that job & by using a leveler, I'm confident...what we did was on the level! Katrina had mentioned a few times, that having (2) bike hoists would be OK. She would rather I finish the other priority things than have a 3rd or 4th bike hoist. So if she is happy with (2) for now, I will be happy (2). I phrased it that way....because Katrina's favorite number is: (2). DSC09164.JPG When Katrina arrived home, we had already showered, dressed & were ready to travel.

Tonight we are motoring to Boulder, CO (a good 35 miles one way) to attend the Boulder Dinner Theatre. Tonight's show: a musical, "Chicago."

We've seen the movie & are looking forward to seeing the play. It is "a story (according to the opening lines) of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery, & treachery - all the things we hold near & dear to our hearts."

The waiters & waitresses, besides serving food, were also the actors & actresses & they were very good; strong voices, great choreography. It was a great show; sexy, humorous, & "all that jazz!"

We were also delighted that we got to meet Katrina's good friend, Lisel, who joined us for the evening. I had beef pot pie & Kathy had Cordon Bleu for dinner & we shared a dish of chocolate ice cream for dessert. We agreed the play was far superior to the food. DSC09171.JPG Katrina did a great job of driving both ways; she should sleep very good tonight. We watch....well, one of us watched Jeopardy tonight.

Lights out: 1:22am.
Awake: 6:32am     Temp 43      sleep 6+17     cloudy-windy      overnight @ Denver.

Around 8:00am, Mother Nature surprised us by giving a short burst of hail to make sure we are awake.

Before leaving for Katrina's condo, Kathy did (3) loads of laundry while I rummaged through my tool box & gathered the necessary tools for today's project.

I took a break from building bike hoists in the garage & replaced (2) electrical outlets in the living room & one switch in Katrina's bathroom.

My next project today was to shut off the main water valve so I could replace Katrina's tub & shower trim kit with a new one. Try as I might, I could not find a water shut off valve anywhere in the condo. Aside from going into areas of a personal nature, like Sarah & Becky's rooms, I was stumped. So I started drilling more holes in the next hoist board. DSC09151.JPG After some time on that project, I switched to caulking. With gun in hand, I caulked a Splash Guard on Becky's bathtub to prevent the water from splashing from the shower to the floor.

Oh, by the way, Katrina did not know where the water shut-off valve is located either...but she did call on a neighbor (Wes) who wasted no time in coming over to help us find such a thing.

The only clue was downstairs in Sarah's bathroom; a small triangular shaped cover, well built & painted like a mystery box. I did not want to tear that apart ....yet. Wes told us his condo is similar to Katrina's & his cutoff valve is in about the same area as the location of that mystery box.

When Katrina arrived home from school, she brought in (2) sanders: a small vibrating one & a heavy belt sander. A teacher @ school was kind enough to loan these tools out. With Kathy holding the ladder steady with one hand & using the vacuum cleaner on the other, we sucked & caught dust from (3) sticking doors; (2) up & (1) down. DSC09161.JPG The (2) sticky doors up stairs were prime candidates for using the ladder & the BIG Sander. Without having those sanders, it would have been a long & tough job. Thank that lady a lot Katrina.

Dinner @ the condo: from Buca di Beppo; leftover ravioli with meat sauce & baked rigatoni; a broiled chicken breast & fresh salad made by Katrina; & some left over ham. Becky came back from a run & joined us for dinner.

We watched only (1) political channel tonight...due to a sleepy partner.

Lights out: 11:28pm.
Awake: 6:28am     Temp 39       sleep 6+40       sunny-windy       overnight @ Denver, CO. @ 9:00 am, we met with Tom & Marge @ the Le Peep Grill just up the road from our campground. They will be leaving soon (pending weather) for their home in Grand Junction, CO, so we want to get as much time together as possible while we can. DSC09154.JPG Our gab & eating time lasted almost a hr & then Tom & Marge followed us to the Flying Saucer campground.

After a short visit & a quick tour for Marge & Tom of our motorhome, we followed them to see & tour their daughter, Kathy's home, also in the Littleton area.

Kathy's home is in a good location, close to her work & has enough room for her to offer overnight guests, like Marge & Tom, their own bedroom & bath. It has a nice size, fenced in (recently done by her brothers & parents) backyard as well as a (2) car garage & a large tool shed. DSC09155.JPG During their short visit to Denver, Tom also has been getting a few things fixed up & working properly on Kathy's house in his spare time. Here is Tom in the living room, trying to sneak up on Marge & Kathy K for a surprise photo opt. DSC09157.JPG Then we left Marge & Tom for now, motored to the nearby Home Depot, where I bought a drill bit & Kathy K bought some green paint (Balsam Fir, to be exact) & then we got back to work on Katrina's condo list. During the next several hrs, Kathy finished painting Katrina's bedroom wall, a mood relaxing green. DSC09159.JPG And @ 5:20 pm, I finished # 2 bike hoist in the garage with only (2) more to go. DSC09160.JPG Then K & I returned to our motorhome, washed up & met Marge & Tom @ the Buca di Beppo in Littleton for dinner. Katrina joined us a little later.

The name roughly translates as "Joe's Basement" (buca, which literally means "hole," can be a slang word for basement or cellar, and Beppo is a nickname for Giuseppe, the Italian form of "Joseph", in Southern Italy).

This could be our farewell dinner for now with Tom & Marge & what a meal it was. For some odd reason, we couldn't stop eating their delicious bread; (5) times our "not so happy waitress" filled our breadbasket up, only to find it empty once more & once more, etc.

The food at Buca di Beppo is served family style, each item served à la carte and shared among the dining party. Finally we did order our shared dinner meal of: ½ spinach, walnut, apple salad; ravioli with meat sauce; & baked rigatoni.

Due to some of us eating so much bread, we had to order a doggy bag for the leftovers which we donated to Katrina. Along with having a good gab session while eating, we also enjoyed the décor & nifty pictures everywhere. Each room is themed & there is even a "pope" room.

Oh yes, eventually our "not so happy waitress" started smiling & actually gave us coupons for a discount on our next visit. We wished Tom & Marge a good night's sleep & a Bon Voyage (pending weather) & Katrina a good night & we returned to our motorhome @ 9:15pm.

We watched our recorded political channels.

Lights out: 12:15am.
"Happy Easter!" to you people out there.      Awake: 7:02am      Temp 35      sleep 7+17 sunny      overnight @ Englewood, CO.

No breakfast for us, only coffee. Katrina called early this morning; she said, her roommate, Becky, would like to join us @ St. Mary Church & wondered if it would be okay with us & if we'd watch for her so she could sit with us? "You bet!" said Kathy.

We left a few minutes early plus our GPS took us on the short-cut route which was good, as the previous Mass was just letting out & people for the next Mass were arriving.

The road was somewhat blocked & moving slowly from both directions. We were in the right lane which consistently moved along & we found a parking space that had just vacated.

Kathy asked me to stay behind & watch for Becky while she managed to secure a pew space for (3). There must have been over (1000 +) in attendance. About (5) min later, Mass began & still no Becky. I wasn't as trusting as Kathy so with no one in sight, I gave up waiting & looking & joined Kathy.

"Oh no" Kathy whispered. "That's not right!" "I'll go back & watch for Becky. She would never find us in this crowd." Sure enough, about (7-10) min later, Kathy returned with Becky following.

Obviously there were a lot of "Submarine Catholics" @ this Mass. Those are the ones who surface only once or twice a yr. And there were a lot of young children, singing (crying) & talking, but it was a beautiful Mass regardless.

Afterward, K & I drove about a mile to Katrina's condo where  we realized she was already showering after her workout. K & I each had a couple pieces of toast with butter while waiting. She changed clothes, hopped into her Subaru & we headed north for about (25-30) miles.

@ 70...75 mph, the Subaru had us @ the Red Rocks Church in plenty of time to look the place over a bit plus have a cup of hot coffee before going inside to find a seat up front. The building they use is on a low budget plan so donations are not what it's all about. According to Katrina, this church is very popular for the young & middle aged alike. DSC09143.JPG Minutes before the ceremony began, the place was packed & the music was loud & clear with words later, on large screens to encourage singing along with the musicians. DSC09146.JPG Then, Pastor Chris introduced, Pastor Sean, & he began to tell his story of how he got to where he is today. His style was fantastic; he made us laugh & he made some of the crowd cry, real tears.

We didn't mind that he had spoken for over (45) min; he was quoting passages from the bible, which he interpreted & brought out the personal meaning even more. I talked with Pastor Sean after the ceremony was over & he seemed to be even better than a genuine fellow. DSC09147.JPG The band was too loud for K & me; I, but aside from that, we were well pleased to have been with Katrina & witnessed the church she attends. DSC09148.JPG Back @ Katrina's condo, we changed clothes to get back to work. Meanwhile, Katrina & Kathy were not happy with the "orange" color in Katrina's bedroom. DSC09152.JPG So they went back to Home Depot for another idea on color while I continue work on the bike hoist project.This photo represents my template for the next (3) bike hoists. 


Finally, Katrina returned with a different paint color. Meanwhile, I finished the 1st Bike hoist.


Nick called during the girls absence; we updated each other to start with: then Nick told me that Jerry, Momoco & Eriko are doing fine.

Next week He said, "he will be flying to Las Vegas to give a talk on the latest Islon storage unit & then on to Florida to give more Islon talk.

Dinner: Spiral cooked ham, potatoes, asparagus, mixed salad by Katrina, & bread.

Later Melissa called from PA; they attended mid-night Mass @ Easter for the 1st time; a very late bedtime for the (4) boys.

Even Later as we were leaving, Marge called & suggested that we meet for breakfast @ the Le Peep Cafe tomorrow. We were all for that idea.

Lights out: 11:48pm.

Awake: 6:21am      Temp 31       sleep 5+21      sunny       overnight @ Englewood, CO.

After breakfast, Kathy left to learn a new needle point stitch @ the Diversions Needle Point shop.

Later, Katrina called & added another item on her list ....one more stuck door. 

When Kathy returned, we motored to Katrina's condo & got started on our projects. Katrina has lined, ceiling-to-floor drapes in her bedroom that she wanted Kathy to iron; a task Kathy could not imagine doing. She made arrangements with a store in Littleton to rent a steamer which Katrina & Becky picked up in the morning. So with steamer set up, Kathy went to work; in about 2 hours, the drapes were wrinkle free & looked like they had been professionally hung.

Later, Kathy & the girls returned the steamer & ran a few other errands, including purchasing paint to paint the trim in the living room & the wall in Katrina's bedroom.

I hung out in the garage to build a ceiling unit bike hoist.

Finding a suitable stud or rafter to hang bikes on was a challenge; the stud finder was misleading (or so I thought) & the magnet in the magnet device, was 1/16 of an inch too long for sliding on the sheetrock.

Finally, I discovered that the entire sheet of the sheet rock was without studs...except for floor & ceiling. No wonder I was confused about: where are the studs?

I needed healthy boards, not only to support the bike from the ceiling rafters but also to give more horizontal space, so the bike with its handlebars won't scrape the wall.

 After I took some measurements, I asked Kathy if she would get (4) sturdy boards for this project. She took the measurements & promised they would be back the same day.

It was the same day but longer than they had planned; they got the goods but also did some grocery shopping for dinner tonight. During their absence, I sanded the top of Katrina's bathroom door so it would stick no more. I also worked out a template to drill holes into the board & fasten the metal plates to the hefty board for the bike hoist.

Meanwhile, Kathy painted the molding in the living room which had several areas of splashed deep red paint from when Katrina & a roommate painted the wall.

Tomorrow she will paint Katrina's bedroom wall orange, the accent color they chose.

Katrina's roommates were both back from their respective jobs & dinner was soon upon us. I was asked to be the chief chef on the grill & I was honored but somewhat shy, as it's been (8) yrs since my last grill duty. DSC09136.JPG Some Kitchen action: Sara watching closely, Katrina making her salad & Becky helping Kat. DSC09138.JPG Dinner: N.Y. steak, baked potatoes, asparagus, spinach salad with strawberries, pistachio nuts.....etc. The meal was outstanding & Katrina's salad was the best! Thank goodness I had some luck with those steaks as well. They really were delicious. DSC09139.JPG After dinner, we sat around & gabbed a lot & then returned to our motorhome. Before leaving, we made arrangements to attend St. Mary's Catholic church near Katrina's condo & then we will attend her church @ the Red Rocks.

We watched a few political programs before turning out the lights @: 11:45pm.
Awake: 6:34       Temp 34       sleep 6+42      sunny       overnight @ Englewood, CO.

K & I had a small breakfast before meeting T.C. @ the No-No Café @ 11:20am. T.C.'s wife, Claudette, is in Kansas visiting her mother who is celebrating her 91st birthday.

T.C. is retired from FedEx now & enjoying his lifestyle; he is no slouch however, as he helps his neighbors, friends, family in whatever & whenever they need his expertise.

We gabbed & ate until around 12:54pm; that's when Katrina called & told us she was on her way from the airport & would be home soon. We said our goodbyes for now to T.C. & hope that we can squeeze in another rendezvous with him & Claudette before leaving town. DSC09126.JPG Arriving from Hawaii, Katrina looks a bit tired but chipper after her all night flight. She had a great time on the island of Kauai, where she & her friend, Lisel, stayed with Lisel's uncle who is a full time resident.

Katrina reported that he was quite the host, having days itineraries laid out & breakfast waiting for them when they awoke (he was at work by then). They got to kayak & snorkel, admire the scenery via their rented car, & participate in a Luau. They were disappointed that due to trade winds they were unable to surf or take a planned on boat trip with dolphins swimming around the boat. But all in all, they had a great time - a time which went much too quickly.

We helped Katrina eat some delicious pineapple that she brought back & tried some fresh, but tasteless coconut. Then, we discussed the work-camp program for Katrina & her list of things for us to accomplish.

Using Katrina's computer, & our cell phone, we sought out several bike hoists around town & checked their prices. Next, we went shopping @ Super Target: for (4) bike hoists & other miscellany. Then Home Depot for a ladder, caulking & caulking gun & electrical outlets, push-pull shower knob ring, & electrical switches. DSC09130.JPG To buy or not to buy, that is the question? DSC09127.JPG After unloading the stash of equipment into her condo, suddenly, hunger set in; fortunately Katrina had a mental list of (3-4) pizzerias in the local areas. Unfortunately, (3) of the (4) were either closed for the night or out of business.

The good side of this was: we had a nice tour of southeast Denver metro, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, the Park Meadows Shopping Center etc. until darkness set in & then finally, we found California Pizza Kitchen in Lone Tree. Happily, it was still open!

Kathy & I shared a Fat Tire draft beer & we all shared a 1/2 Waldorf salad (very good) & a thin crust vegetarian pizza (also very good).

Then we return to her condo for a short visit & back to our home-on-wheels for the night. We watch our political programs & Jeopardy but no movie.

Lights out: 12:55am.
Awake: 6:50am      Temp 42      sleep 6+21       sunny       overnight @ Englewood, CO.

Ray e-mailed photos of his (3) new model aircraft.....much different than I had anticipated.

T.C. of Parker called mid-morning & suggested (2) restaurants to pick from when we rendezvous on Friday. Then Kathy mentioned "no meat" on Friday; T.C. said he'd search some more & call later.

After breakfast, K & I motored over to BKC Kitchen & Bath & began looking @ model kitchens & cabinets. DSC09120.JPG We spent about (3) hrs digesting the latest & greatest in kitchen technology. DSC09124.JPG T.C. called @ 3:45 & suggested the No-No restaurant for tomorrow. "His brother eats there often & loves the fish" he told me. I took a few notes for directions.

Dinner: Turkey noodle veggie soup with whole grain bread.

Evening movie: "The Dark Corner" with Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix, Mark Stevens, etc. Top-notch mystery with secretary Ball helping moody boss Stevens escape from phony murder charge. 1946. Actually, a fairly good mystery story that kept both of us on the edge of our seats.

Lights out: 11:52pm.
Awake: 7:02am      Temp 54       sleep 6+16       sunny      overnight @ Englewood, CO.

Julie called from Ebensburg, PA this morning. Yesterday she, with Chuck's help, surveyed our property & told me that it is acceptable for building a house.

Ray called from Ocean Park; we chatted for (36) min...mostly about his experience of flying the new model airplanes he purchased recently & their son Nathan's contract job. Ray told me he'd send pictures of those latest aircraft. I believe he has (3 or 4) new ones for a total of (8) now? Early afternoon, K & I motored to the REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) store north of Denver. DSC09114.JPG Trying to get a head start on Katrina's work list, we scrutinized a few bike storage & hoist ideas while we are @ this huge store. DSC09112.JPG Next, we visited the Diversions Needle pointing store in Englewood where Kathy selected a few more colors of yarn & talked with Penny about possibly taking a beginners class on Saturday. Kathy commented that of the various needlepoint stores she has been to, Diversions has, by far, the largest selection of painted canvases & the most yarn colors & kinds. DSC09115.JPG Meanwhile, this little guy & I became buddies; her master told me she rarely makes friends with strangers. DSC09116.JPG En route to our motorhome, we did some light grocery shopping @ the nearby Costco store. Then both of us wrote Easter cards to a couple of 1st cousins in PA who sent us Christmas cards & to a couple other people in Nicktown.

Just before dinner, Zack called while riding the bus home from work; we both took turns talking. He is getting braver about doing things around their rental house. For example, he has recently renovated their downstairs toilet into a bidet & it works; saving them thousands of $. Excellent work my son.

Dinner: Clam chowder with oyster crackers. No movie tonight; just political stuff.

Lights out: 12:29am. 
Awake: 6:57am      Temp 42      sleep 6+52      sunny      overnight @ Englewood, CO.

 K & I had a small breakfast this morning because we are going to have lunch with Marie @ Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery. Before we left though, we wrote Easter cards to our grandsons.

Marie, age 84, is as they say, looking good...for her age. We 1st met her in Alaska quite a few yrs ago. She is Jackie's aunt; Jackie & her husband, Ben, are our good friends who now split their living time between Alaska & Florida.

Last yr, we toured Florida quite extensively & met up with Jackie & Ben...& Jackie's aunt Marie. We told Marie that if we should get to Denver, we'd look her up.... & thus, we have done so.

Marie still drives, handles herself well, makes good conversation, & has a nice sense of humor. Her son, Phil, lives with her & it is a win-win situation for them. Marie did share with us that she will have a knee replacement this summer, but only after a rendezvous with Ben & Jackie in Seattle & a trip to Canada.

K & I shared a meat loaf sandwich & a cherry pie ala mode. We talked & ate for a good 1.5 hrs, & then said our goodbyes for now.

From here, we drove across town in Littleton to do our Wal-Mart shopping; things that most grocery stores charge a little more for than we like.

After that, we mailed our Easter cards & our tax return. After storing our goods in the motorhome, K & I took a photo of each other under the new "Flying Saucer RV Park" sign. DSC09104.JPG Take note of the small bit of snow that I had hoped would be melted. DSC09105.JPG Then Kathy did (2) loads of laundry. Dinner: leftovers: a combination of sausage stoop, crab/ corn stoop & broccoli & mandarin oranges for dessert..

Evening movie: "The Bedford Incident" with Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur, Martin Balsam, Wally Cox, Eric Portman, Donald Sutherland. Strong Cold War story of authoritarian Navy captain (Widmark) scouting Russian subs near Greenland and the mental conflicts that develop on his ship. Poitier is reporter too good to be true, Balsam a sympathetic doctor disliked by Widmark. Cast excels in intriguing barrel of wits. 1965. Great story; so good, Kathy watched 98%.

Lights out: 12:46am.

Awake: 7:37am     Temp 44     sleep 7+07     sunny     overnight @ Englewood, CO.


Casual morning for us. @ 12:05pm, Kathy left for grocery shopping while I stayed in the coach & tried to catch up on my homework; my glitch list for Newell, write checks out for services rendered, & some reading.


Our ole Alaska friend, Claudette, called for Kathy & I gabbed with her for (13) min.


When Kathy returned @ 3:20pm, she was all excited. Her grocery shopping tour was less than a mile....just around the corner from our campground. Since we were here last, a shopping/theater/restaurant complex, River Point, has been (still is being ) developed. A new Super Target & Costco have moved in, which will cover about 90% of our needs.


Kathy then called Claudette & they yakked for a good (44) min.  


Dinner: Sesame almond crusted tuna, asparagus, rice with golden raisins & a Caesar's salad.


Evening movie: "Le Mans" with Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen, Ronald Leigh-Hunt. Exciting study of Grand Prix auto racing with exceptionally fine camera work on the track. 1971. Definitely an exciting story but with little dialogue.  


Lights out: 12:05am.



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