"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

workin' away.

Sorry my blog posts have been a little sparse lately but for 5 out of the 7 days per week we just work, sleep and repeat. Our days off have mostly consisted of driving into Rapid City to get our Christmas shopping done and those gifts wrapped and shipped to our loved ones. I forgot how quickly those two days off pass before it's time to head back to work. Last summer we worked the same 40 hours per week but they allowed us to work four ten hour shifts and we sure miss those three days off. I am hoping next summers schedule may be similar but who knows.

One day we did take a nice long drive through the Hill's. We were on the look out for wildlife and were not disappointed. We drove through Wind Cave National Park and into Custer State Park and I remembered my camera this time!

I keep thinking back to last year  at this time and we were almost done with our Amazon jobs. We met a lot of good friends there and most of them returned to work there again this season. They are almost done! Congrats guys, it's hard work but I remember that sense of accomplishment we felt when we left SDF1 that last night. Enjoy some Waffles and Bacon at the Huddle House for Rudee and I! I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 21, 2014

busy, busy, busy

Wow, where did the last month go? We have been settling into our new roles at work and finding our "groove". There are always adjustments whenever a new boss(es) takes over but things are running fairly smoothly. We have only had one long time employee decide to make a change but he has been looking for quite some time so it wasn't a total shock when he walked out. He will be missed though as he was very knowledgeable and an all around great guy.
Rudee and I are continuing to work a Thursday through Monday shift and like it for the most part. We will be working all the Holidays this year but don't mind too much since we can take a day off in the future to make up for it. This will give us some vacation days to use while we build up "official" vacation time.
Late in October we made the move to a new campground for the winter. Heritage Village Campground which is owned by Crazy Horse closes on November 1st and they shut down all the water to the sites. We found a nice small park in the town of Custer, 5th Street RV Park, and are settled into site #1. Sorry but no pictures yet. :-(
We were lucky, or so I thought, and got everything set up before the weather changed in mid-November. The change started with snow and we had about 5" of the white stuff but the worst was yet to come as the temperatures dipped well below zero! This continued for over a week with lows in the negative teens and highs in the single digits. The rig was doing good and we were staying fairly comfortable. That all changed last Friday evening. We got off work, came home, changed clothes and went out for dinner. When we got back home an hour later I heard water running as soon as I got out of the truck. Oh, no! I found it pouring out of our wet bay on the Journey and quickly shut it off and started looking for the problem. I found it pretty quickly, there is a small plastic pressure tank hooked into the fresh water lines. The tank keeps the on board water pump from running too much by keeping the lines pressurized. The plastic tank had a big crack in it and water was spraying everywhere. Keep in mind I do have a small space heater in the compartment as well as a remote thermostat that I can monitor from inside the coach (it said 55 degrees when we were home changing). We also had a stream of water running so I'm still not sure if it froze somehow or busted from age and water pressure. Regardless of the cause, here I am, in the dark, kneeling in a puddle of water working on the plumbing and it's -10 degrees outside! BRRRRRRR! I was able to remove the tank but needed additional parts to make the repair, it would have to wait. Rudee made a quick run to the store to buy some gallons of water for us to use and I went inside to warm up.
Saturday I spent my lunch hour shopping at the local hardware store where I bought some Pex tubing and connectors and once I got off work I hooked up the new tubing and we had water again. The repair wasn't perfect though and one of the push on connectors was leaking. Rather then chance it by connecting the hose back up we just ran from the on board tank and turned the pump on and off whenever we needed water. This got us through until I could buy a better connector at Lowes on Tuesday and I took it all apart again and got it fixed with no leaks!
Thursday morning I got up and no water!! What the heck?? I went outside and our hose was frozen. I have used this hose for several years in below freezing weather and it has never failed me. I made it up myself by attaching a heat tape to it with electrical tape and then insulating it with foam pipe wrap. The heat tape was plugged in, the power was on but the tape itself was ice cold. :-(

I was lucky that I didn't have to go to work until noon because of a special event at work so I made a run to the hardware store, got a new heat tape, new insulation and pulled out my spare white hose to
make myself another heated supply line. Rudee and I got everything in place and voila! We could shower again! This winter living in an RV is not for the faint of heart but we just roll with the punches. :-)

We still have snow on the ground but have had a few days above freezing so it has been starting to melt some. I promise to get a few pictures of our new neighborhood for the next entry. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Whirlwind trip to Indiana

Before starting our new jobs at Crazy Horse we took a couple of weeks to return to Indiana. We wanted to visit family and friends because it may be awhile before we can take some vacation time. We were able to have one last breakfast with Steve and Joan (FOSJ blog). We had such a great summer with these two great friends and we'll be lonely without them. They even brought me a present

that should tide me over until I get my first paycheck. Thanks guys, have safe travels and hope to see you again real soon. :-)

Monday morning (9/29) we locked up the RV, loaded our suit cases into the Dakota and headed East stopping in Iowa for the night. We arrived in Indiana Tuesday afternoon and got settled into Rudee's Mom's spare bedroom. We were able to spend some time with old friends, meet some new friends and got to spoil our Grand Kids a bunch! I was able to cook them up a big "low country boil" for dinner one day ...... YUMMY!

We went camping our last weekend with some of our old motorcycle buddies and were able to take our grand kids trick or treating around the campground.

Thank you Rob and Jany for letting us bunk with you guys in your camper. :-)

All too soon it was time to head back. We left Sunday afternoon (10/12) and pointed the truck to the West to start our new adventure.
Since we got a late start we ended up spending two nights in motels on the way back and even made a stop

We are both fans of the American Pickers show and enjoyed the stop. Their shop sure looks bigger on TV and unfortunately none of the "stars" were there just these two guys

We arrived back at the RV on Tuesday afternoon. My first order of business was to check out our combo washer/dryer unit. Before leaving for the trip Rudee did one last load of laundry and it came out sopping wet. I did some quick Detective work and determined it was not agitating or spinning. I figured the belt had popped off or had broken and would just fix it when we got back. Well I pulled the machine out of the cabinet and popped off the back of the case. Oh Oh, the belt is still in position which means it is most likely the motor or the circuit board :-(. I called an RV technician who summers here in the Black Hills but he had already left the area. He confirmed my suspicions but had more bad news, the machine is so old they do not make the motors any longer and the circuit boards are all but impossible to find. He said we may find someone to rebuild the motor but suggested we consider just replacing the whole unit. We gave it some thought and since we are likely to spend at least the next year in the RV we decided to bite the bullet and order a new one. Since the replacement will not arrive until next week we loaded up all our dirty clothes and headed for the parks laundry. $12.00 later we had clean clothes again, Wowzer, that's a lot of quarters!
Rudee had Wednesday off but I started my first of six days straight. My duties have not changed significantly but my areas of responsibility have increased a lot. My first day consisted of morning meetings, HR paperwork and then working in the guest services area. I have a couple of projects to work on and once I have a work area and computer I can get started on them. Hopefully that will all be finalized next week. I do have a mail box though!

Maybe I'm somebody after all :-)

Our next days off will be Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm not sure if this will continue to be our normal schedule but we are looking forward to maybe taking a short motorcycle ride between replacing the washer/dryer and doing the laundry which is piling up again :-) I'll keep you posted.