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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

last bike ride of the season?

Wednesday evening we stopped by Grumpy's Goldwing Service and picked up our Harley. We have been friends and riding buddies with Grumpy for over 20 years and he has performed a lot of service on our bikes in that time. We have decided to store the Harley at his shop until we can get a lift put on the motorhome to carry it. Our hope is by next spring we can once again have all our toys traveling together again. :-)

Our local Goldwing chapter was having a dinner ride so we rode to the assigned meeting place with Grumpy and his pretty lady Kay. The weather sure was nice and we only had light jackets on for the ride. Our good buddy Rob Runion was leading to the restaurant in Danville, Indiana and we ended up with 13 motorcycles in our group.

We had a nice meal and an even better ride! Thursday was predicted to be the last day of this warm spell so we decided to keep the bike one more day to take advantage of what will probably be our last ride before storing it again for the winter. :-(

Rudee and I hopped on the bike shortly after breakfast. The temps were cool enough for a heavy sweatshirt but promised to warm up. We had no idea where we were heading but just wanted to ride!
I pointed the headlight South and then East. We decided to cruise through the city and check out the changes to Indy since the Super Bowl. Downtown was buzzing with young people attending the National FFA Convention. There were blue jackets everywhere!
We passed through downtown and headed East on U.S. 40 which is the main E/W highway through Indianapolis.
Our destination was the Indy East KOA where friends Wayne and Sherry Hutchins had spent the summer work camping. Unfortunately their day off was today and no one was home at their 5th wheel. We left them a note on their door and headed back out on the highway.
Like all good things this ride also must end. :-) We headed for Grumpy's shop in Thorntown and arrived there around 5pm and pulled the bike back into its parking spot for the winter. Grumpy will keep the battery hooked to a trickle charger and before arriving I filled the gas tank full of fuel and treated it with Stabil gas stabilizer. Doing this should help us get it started next spring when we are itching for another ride after the long winter.

The last couple of days we have ran a few errands but otherwise have just hung around the motorhome. Today we have plans to head into Lebanon and find a restaurant where we can eat and enjoy the Colts game on TV. We have sent out some invitations to some of our friends to join us, no word back yet but ..... I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

still chillin'

Sunday we had several friends stop by to see the new rig and visit for awhile. Sure was nice to catch up with Steve, Trish, Dale and Diane.  The Newlyweds along with Amanda, Ryan and their kids also came over, we had a house full but loved every minute of it. :-)

Monday morning I got on the phone with Dish Network to get the TV working. I had dreaded that call fearing I would be on the phone for hours. I am happy to report a very pleasant experience. The friendly, English speaking technician had us watching our shows in no time! Monday was also pack up and move day. We are both a little amazed at how much less time and effort it takes to pack up the motor home compared to the 5th wheel. We were ready to roll in just a few minutes compared to the 45 it took before. I kept walking around the rig trying to see what I forgot to do. :-)

Our move was a short one and we are set up at Hillside Campground in Jamestown Indiana. We stayed here back in August for a couple of weeks waiting for the call to training for our Roving Manager jobs. Speaking of the job, we are still waiting for an assignment. We have communicated with them regularly but work is slow right now. We are guaranteed a certain amount of pay per month so even sitting still we are making a salary. :-)

Indiana is in the middle of an Indian Summer with the temps in the mid to upper 70's for several days. We retrieved our Harley out of storage and are taking advantage by getting in a few rides before it turns colder again. They are predicting the cool down will start tonight so we are planning on a long ride today before taking the bike back to "winter jail". :-(
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 22, 2012

the big move

Saturday morning we were up and out of the 5th wheel at first light. We had pulled the motor home next to the Montana after signing the papers late Friday evening to save as much time as we could. Our mission today was to check all the systems while transferring all of our belongings from one to the other. My plan was to be done and outta there by 2pm ......... didn't happen :-)
The first obstacle we came across was the amount of "stuff" we had accumulated in the last 3 1/2 years as full timers. A good rule for full timers is if you have not used something for an entire year then get rid of it. Good rule in theory but it was obvious we had not "practiced what we preached" :-)
Rudee and I worked all day moving stuff over. Down the 4 steps from the Monty, 5 feet over to the motor home, up 5 steps into the inside, put it away and then repeat, over and over again!
At noon we took a break and dropped off the keys and titles for the truck and Montana to the dealership. We also met with the service people and did our walk through. They did a couple of minor adjustments for us and then we were back work.
I'm ashamed to say we ended up taking 12 large garbage bags full of "stuff" to the Goodwill as well as several to the dumpster! How in the world did we let this get out of hand! :-) I can hear my Mother telling me "there is a lesson to be learned here!" and I'm sure both my parents were smiling down on us. They had been through trading units several times themselves over the years. :-)

At 4pm we decided to just pile it all in the best we could and sort it out later. We got on the road at 5pm, so much for our 2pm plan. :-)
We headed for Indianapolis and I enjoyed driving the rig. We still have a couple of brackets to order from Roadmaster to make our Dakota tow able so Rudee still follows behind but we will soon be back together again.
We arrived at White River Campground in Cicero, Indiana just before dark to find our friends Rob and Jany waiting for us. They were anxious to see the new digs as well as to eat supper! :-)
We got set up in record time and gave them a quick tour around the several plastic totes that filled the hallway and then headed for dinner. Rudee and I had only eaten a banana and a bologna sandwich all day, we were both starving!
Sunday morning Rudee and Jany got busy while Rob and I "got lost" by request. :-) They purged out a few more things but now we have clear hallways and our house on wheels is starting to look like home.

We have some friends and family headed our way to check it out later today. Still no word on our next deployment, guess it's time to get back to work though and pay for this thing! I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 19, 2012

and the gears keep changing!

One thing about being a full time RVer is you have to be flexible and roll with the punches :-).

We called our company Monday morning and they had nothing for us so we were told we could hang out in Pennsylvania or head back to Indiana. They said it could only be a few days before they would need us again so we decided to take the chance and head back home to see Rudee's parents.
We got on the road pretty late in the day since the company is in California and on Pacific time. We drove to Columbus Ohio and spent the night in a small campground. The next morning we started out a little earlier because we wanted to make a stop. We have been considering a change in our travel style and found a motor home we thought might fit the bill in Richmond Indiana.
We stopped there shortly before noon and a salesman showed us the motor home we "thought" we wanted as well as several others. We ended up spending the entire day at the dealership looking at several units before eventually making a deal. Next is the financing which has proven to be quite an ordeal. Between being a full timer and having our jobs only a short time has created a few obstacles. We finally went to "our" bank where they have known us for years and arranged the financing.
We traded both the semi truck and 5th wheel for our new home:

it is a 2002 Winnebago Journey 36' Diesel Pusher with 2 slides. The prior owners took great care of it and we could not find any issues with it at all. The dealership is detailing the interior and doing a final check of all the systems. We will be doing the walk through on Saturday morning and then transferring all of our "stuff" from the Montana and Freightliner into the Motor home. They do have camping facilities at the dealership and we are spending the night here so we can get an early start in the morning.

We took the Harley to our buddy, Grumpy's, shop for winter storage. Our plan is to purchase and install a lift onto the rear of the motor home by next spring for the bike.
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 15, 2012

busy, busy week.

Well we got'em married. :-)
The wedding was Saturday at 3:30 with the reception at a nearby hall shortly afterward. Our week was filled with errands and helping handle all the gazillion details that have to be done before the wedding.
Our campsite for the week was nice but not as "spacious" as we would have liked. Our 5th wheel pretty much filled the pull through site leaving us only a small area to park the Dakota parallel to the road. We had to park the semi on the other side of the park next to the office. The place was quiet though and we both slept very well, when we got the chance. :-)
We spent several evenings at my son's future in laws home. We helped get all the party favors and decorations ready for the reception.
Friday was the rehearsal at the church with the wedding party and both sets of parents. The presiding official was the mayor of nearby Harrisville Borough, Jere Donovan. We were all instructed on how to do our "part" and then headed for the rehearsal dinner. Rudee had made all the arrangements for the dinner which was no easy task being several hundred miles away and not familiar with the area. We had 3 large tables full of people and the food was really good. We sat with the in laws and the Mayor and his wife Novelle. We all had a good time sharing stories and the night went by way too fast.
Saturday was wedding day and Rudee was up early to meet the rest of the girls at the beauty shop where they all got their hair done for the wedding.
We all met at the church about an hour before the ceremony. The bride and her attendants were in their room and Matthew with his groomsmen were in another room where they were all getting themselves fixed up and ready. :-)
The ceremony was very nice and will be a special memory for us for years to come.
Once the pictures were over with we all headed out to meet back up with the guests at the reception. "It's party time"!!
We ate, talked, drank and danced the night away. The DJ was top notch and we all had a great time. Here is the bride and groom dancing the first dance.

Rudee even got me out there a couple of times. :-)

Our daughter Amanda came with the grand kids so we got to spend some quality time with them too. Plus we got better acquainted with Jere (the Mayor) and Novelle. They are a really great couple and we were so happy we got to spend some time with them. I think Jere would love to get an RV and give this full time thing a try. Novelle, on the other hand, is not quite as "eager" as he is. :-).

Sunday we slept in a little while. That partying stuff wears this old Dude out! :-)
We then met Amanda and the kids for a late breakfast before they headed back to Indiana. We were sitting at the restaurant and guess who walked in, yep Jere and Novelle. We got the chance to say "see ya later" to them again and they invited us to camp in their back yard next time we were in the area. Thanks guys, we may take you up on that sometime. :-)
There were a few tears shed as we said goodbye to the grand kids :-(. We are not sure where we will be heading next but I'm sure it will be interesting. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

cold in Pennsylvannia

We left the D.C. area Saturday around noon. We originally thought we would not get away until Sunday morning but the storage facility was covered and we had a clear shot out of the parking lot so we hooked on and hit the road. :-)
I didn't really want to fight the city traffic on the beltway so we headed west on I-66 and then north on I-81 to Hagerstown where we headed west again following I-68 into West Virginia. This route avoids the toll roads but it is one 6% grade after another :-o.
I had quickly researched campgrounds and they are few and far between on this route. We were hoping for something with full hook ups so we could empty our tanks but could boondock a night if we had too.
We stopped at a rest park around 5pm and Rudee made some calls looking for a park. Most either did not have spaces or could not handle a bigger rig. We were about to give up when we found Firehouse RV Campground . Rudee called and they had room for us so we headed that way for the night. The drive took us a little over an hour and it was starting to get dark when we pulled into the park. The place is nothing special, just a gravel parking lot, but has full hook ups and WIFI for $30 per night. The campground is behind the local Volunteer Fire Department and they run it as a way to raise funds to help with their expenses.
Sunday we only had a little over 120 miles to go so we got another later than normal start. We skirted Pittsburg on I-79 and arrived in Mercer, Pa. shortly before 2pm. We had reservations at RV Village just outside of town. They are a Passport America park and will honor the discount for our entire 8 night stay so we have a full hook up 50 amp site for $16.00 per night. Not too bad. :-)
There are a lot of trees here so no satellite TV and our MIFI is a little slow but we get a few TV channels off the "batwing" antenna and the price is right so we'll suffer along. :-).

The temperatures have been a little cool to downright cold here! The last two nights it has dipped below freezing so I hooked up our heated water hose and plugged it in instead of the regular hose. The daytime temps have been hovering in the low 50's so it is definitely sweatshirt weather! :-)

Our son Matthew has been staying with us, sleeping on our hide a bed sofa. We have been busy getting everything ready for his wedding that takes place Saturday afternoon. There seems to be a hundred and one things that need done and we have been doing a lot of running around. I guess this is all part of the process and we are happy that we can be here for him. We are planning on leaving here Monday morning but have no idea which way we'll be heading. We will call our comapany Monday morning and see which direction we need to point if we haven't heard anything before then. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 8, 2012

sight seeing on 2 wheels

Thursday morning we headed back into DC to visit some more sights. Our first stop was the US Navy Memorial. They have a really neat fountain surrounded by plaques. Inside the visitors center were more displays and a listing of Navy Veterans. Rudee looked up the name of her Uncle and found not only his information but also his photo. During WWII Uncle Harry was on the USS Gendreau off the coast of Okinawa when the ship was hit by artillery shells. Harry and another sailor were both killed in the attack. Harry was Rudee's Mom's brother, we took some photos of the listing as well as the Memorial to share with her.
Our next stop was the National Law Enforcement Memorial where the names of police officers killed in the line of duty are listed in the same manner as the veterans are listed at Viet Nam Memorial.
I found the names of two friends listed there. Mike Greene was a State Trooper assigned to our county and was shot and killed during a traffic stop one afternoon. I was working that day and had talked to Mike less than 2 hours before he died :-(.
Gary Dudley was another State Trooper who was killed during a fund raising bicycle ride. He worked in the Indianapolis area but since we were so close (and so nice) he would sneak up our way to share a meal with us. :-)
I was pretty disappointed in the Memorial overall. There is a water fall type feature in the middle that was almost empty of water and the whole place looked unkempt and dreary. There was a sign that showed a visitors center was located nearby but when we went to the intersection all we found was a Subway restaurant :-(.
We walked back towards the Capitol Building and then visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History before calling it a day.

Friday, starting out a little later in the day, we rode the subway to Arlington Cemetery and viewed the changing of the guard. Quite an impressive ceremony as well as a very solemn place. If you ever start taking your freedom for granted just visit this place and see all the grave stones of the men and women who sacrificed for all of us.

I wanted to see the sights of DC at night so we booked an evening Segway tour. This is Rudee getting some training on how to "drive" one of these things.

They work by sensing your shifting weight. Lean forward and you go forward, back and you go backwards. The hard part is finding the "happy medium" when stopping. We had about 10 minutes of instruction and practice before our tour "hit the streets". There were 9 of us including our guide Grace, whose parents had moved to Avon, Indiana  where my brother is a fireman. Small world moments are pretty cool! :-)
We scooted along doing our best to stay out of the way of traffic and ended up at our first stop.

Now, in order to get off a Segway and it not keep going you have to pull it into a curb (or similar) to "chock" the wheels. Once you are stopped you step off quickly. Getting back on is just the reverse of parking except backing up is a little more difficult plus you have to make a turn. We both got parked just fine and took some photos. Grace even took our photo with the White House in the background.

Now comes the hard part, getting back on. Rudee did fantastic, me not so good :-(. I'm sure the Secret Service got a good laugh when that little scooter threw me off and I ended up on my big old butt right in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue! :-) I ended up with a bloody knee and scraped elbow not to mention a huge bruise to my ego! Oh well, gracefull I'm not! :-)

We made stops at the Capitol building, Washington Monument, Martin Luther King Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. I did manage to get off and back on safely the rest of the evening but I noticed everybody else kept their distance every time I tried. :-)
Here are a few more photos of our day.

We enjoyed our time in DC and would like to return since there is so much to do in the area. We are heading to Pennsylvania for our sons wedding next week. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

made it through the week!

The title of the post says it all! Our week had several ups and downs but we made it through it all and now have 2 days off. Monday evening the rains started and continued all day Tuesday. On top of having to contend with the rain the internet in the office went down. We waited about an hour and when it didn't come back up Rudee called Verizon. She was on the phone for over an hour as they tried different things until deciding their system was having "issues". Turns out it was a huge issue with much of the country having problems. We ended up doing the best we could and handled things pretty well. The biggest issue was renting and checking in the Penske trucks but we were able to take care of those by calling Penske where they did the paperwork on their mainframe and faxed us copies.
Wednesday is our "Friday" at this site. We had a trainee here in the morning who works at a nearby site and will be filling in a couple of days here next week. He needed to learn Penske so we taught him the best we could. Luckily the internet was back up when we opened up, otherwise it would have been a short class! I hope we didn't scare him off. :-) He kind of had that "deer in the headlights" look in his eyes. :-)
Once we got off work Rudee suggested we go to Red Lobster to celebrate surviving our week. "Heck ya, I'm in!" I offered to get the bike out since it was a warm evening and she was all for that! We took the short ride over and had a nice meal. We even made it back to the 5er in time to watch the debate on TV.

Our plan today and tomorrow are to do some more sightseeing before our last work day on Saturday. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 1, 2012

out of the frying pan ... into the fire!

Saturday was our first official "on our own" day as Storage Facility Managers. We were both really nervous and I'm sure it showed. :-)
This facility is also a vendor for Penske Truck Rental. We were "shown" how to navigate the different screens on the Penske website and how to check the vehicles in and out. This was all well and good but we had never actually done it and today we had 4 trucks going out. Oh no! :-o

We were as busy as a couple of one armed paper hangers all day but we got through it. We were both pretty frazzled at the end of the day and our nerves were on edge. Now where did I put that corkscrew? :-)

Sunday we were a little more at ease. We are still struggling a little when something "weird" pops up but I guess that is understandable. Sunday hours are 9-3 so we were out pretty early and decided to go out to eat and then do some grocery shopping. We ended up at Hooters and watched the first half of the Washington Redskins game on TV while we ate. The restaurant had the sound blaring on the TV's so loud you could not hear the person beside you talking. They could have turned the volume down a little and not lost the "atmosphere" and it would have been a lot better.

Today we worked our normal shift of 9-6. We were not terribly busy but had to do a bunch of month end reports and had to count all the inventory. I no more started counting all the boxes we have for sale when a guy drove up and delivered 375 more! I helped him unload them and had them put away fairly quickly. I just had to make sure I didn't include them in last months inventory since they came in this month.
We are feeling a little more comfortable with the routine and Rudee even let me leave for a few minutes to run to McDonald's to pick up our lunch. :-)
At closing time we have to balance our drawer and deposit the $$ into the bank. We start by uploading all the information on the computer to the corporate office. This takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes and while Rudee is doing that I run to a nearby store and buy a money order with the cash we took in. Then we scan the money order and any checks we took in into the deposit software and upload that to the bank. See, not too hard, just lots to remember. :-)

We will be here through Saturday and then leave for our sons wedding early Sunday morning. Thursday and Friday will be our days off and we are planning on taking the subway back into the city for some more sightseeing. I'll keep you posted.