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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

beating the storm

Monday morning I called Grumpy who owns the shop where our bike is stored. The shop was not open but we made plans to meet for lunch and then could go to the shop so we could pick up the bike.
We met at the local Dairy Queen and enjoyed swapping stories while we ate. Dairy Queen probably has the best fast food (my opinion of course) but for some reason we don't stop there as often as we do some of the others, not sure why.
Once we got to the shop Grumpy showed me the newest thing in motorcycle covers. These covers are made to be left on the bike while it is being transported/towed. Grumpy hauls his bike on his Freightliner same as we did and he started using one of these and has sold them to several of our friends who also haul their bikes in/on their trucks.
I decided to give it a try and he cut us a great deal on it as well as "no charge" for storing our bike the last couple of months. Thanks Grumpy!
I bundled up and headed out on the bike ...... 33* and the roads were wet! Yikes :-o
Rudee followed me in the Dakota and captured the moment for posterity. Yes, that is snow on the sides of the road!


Once we got back to the motorhome we loaded the bike onto the lift and tied it down. This took a little extra time to get the tie downs positioned like I wanted them and then we had to unpack and figure out how to position the new cover. I know most bike owners are cringing at the thought of covering a bike while it is being towed down the road. I was the same way but this new cover has tie downs to snug it in critical areas and once we had it on and "buckled down" I really liked it.

We spent Christmas morning at our daughter and son in law's home. We enjoyed watching the grand kids open their presents and Santa even dropped off a new RV GPS for me. :-)
My kids snuck around and got me a really neat gift:

Yep that guy in the Smokey Bear hat is me. :-) The badges were from my days with the Plainfield Fire Department and my first badge issued when I joined the Boone County Sheriffs Dept. I was really surprised and absolutely love it! Thanks guys.

We left the party shortly after 1pm for the short drive back to the campground. We hooked up the Dakota and headed South. We ended up driving to Bowling Green, Kentucky stopping at the Camping World store where we boondocked in their parking lot for the night. The rain started about 10 minutes after we arrived so it was good timing on our part :-). We ended up running the generator all night since the temperature dropped quite a bit and we needed the extra power to keep warm.

Wednesday we woke up to more rain and the threat of snow showers. We had a quick breakfast of microwave oatmeal and headed out into the rain. I kept a close eye on the thermometer which varied from 34-38 degrees. The rain changed over to snow after only a few miles and we both were a little nervous. The radar showed that the showers ended south of Nashville so we pressed on. Turns out the radar was correct and the showers quit but the radar didn't warn us about the cross winds which started blowing after the rain/snow stopped :-o.
Fighting the 30-40 mph winds hitting you broadside in a large vehicle wears you out and by 1pm we were ready to call it a day and started considering campgrounds to stop at. My original plan was to get at least as far as Birmingham if not Montgomery. Instead, thanks to the "breeze", we pulled into Cullman Campground shortly after 2pm, we didn't travel as far as we had planned but at least we are safe and sound. Tomorrow they are promising some sunshine, no wind and thankfully warmer temperatures. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 24, 2012

time to go!

Rudee and I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!

This week end the weatherman started saying words like "change" and "more seasonable" during his forecasts. Now in Indiana "change" is usually not a good thing when referring to the weather and "seasonable" for December is absolutely not a good thing! :-)
Today they confirmed a major winter storm is moving in and headed right at us. The snow is supposed to start early Wednesday and could be "significant" according to our local TV stations. They have even mentioned the "B" word a time or two. :-o
Since we are not gluttons for punishment, and we sure don't want to experience another blizzard, we have decided to pack up this traveling circus and move to greener pastures so we can avoid all this white "stuff"!

We will be celebrating Christmas at our daughter and son in laws house tomorrow morning and then get on the road shortly after noon. Our plan right now is to drive several hours before stopping for the night in a Wal Mart or rest park. We are heading towards the Escapees Park in Summerdale, Alabama and we hope to arrive there sometime Wednesday.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

whole again

The last week I have been in a kind of funky mood. The tragic events in Newtown Conn. seemed to kick it off. I spent most of my life as some kind of first responder with the majority of my time spent as a Deputy Sheriff. My heart was broken when I heard and read the news reports last week. As a police officer and father I always felt my biggest responsibility was to protect the children. I cannot understand why or how anyone could harm a child, it breaks my heart. :-(

We did manage to make a major step forward. After a lot of research I decided on the type and model of motorcycle lift to install on the back of the motorhome for our Harley to ride on. I decided on a Mighty Hauler (http://www.mightyhauler.com/) hydraulic lift. They are manufactured in Barberton, Ohio so Tuesday morning we hooked the Dakota onto the back of the Winnebago and headed East.
This was our first experience towing the truck and to say I was a little nervous is an understatement! The trip was a little over 320 miles and took us 5 1/2 hours. The truck pulled great and after about 300 miles I calmed down some. :-)
We arrived just as they were closing for the day. We had already made arrangements to stay in their parking lot and they even ran a power cord out for us to use.

Wednesday morning we were up early since they open at 7am :-o! They had me back into one of their bays and explained everything they had to do to install the lift and told me it would take about 6 hours to complete. Good thing we had the Dakota to use because sitting there for 6 hours would have been really boring.
We explored the town a little, not a whole lot there, and ended up going to Grandpa's Cheese Barn in Ashland, Oh. which was about 30 miles away. I wanted to go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and pulled the website up on my i-phone at breakfast. That is when I found the cost ...... $21 each! Seems a little high to me so we scraped that idea pretty quick.
We were just finishing lunch when I got a call on my cell phone that they were done. The install went smoothly and did not take them as long as they expected.
Here is a look at the finished product.

We had a quick lesson on it's operation prior to hooking the truck back on and heading out. We were a little rushed because there was some pretty bad weather coming our way Thursday with high winds and snow predicted. We had originally thought about driving about 1/2 way and stopping for the night and we could avoid driving after dark. The weather changed this plan though and we ended up arriving back in Jamestown shortly before 7pm. We pulled into one of the electric/water pull through sites used for overnighters since I didn't want to try and maneuver through the dark campgound trying to back into our full hook up site.
Thursday morning we woke up to rain and wind. The rain did stop (almost) long enough for us to get backed into our assigned site and I got all the utilities hooked back up. We were happy to be back safe and sound because the wind really kicked up with gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour! I'm sure glad we were not trying to drive in that!

We are getting geared up for Christmas celebrations with our family. Sunday we celebrate with Rudee's family in Plainfield and then we will spend Christmas day at our daughters house here in Jamestown. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 14, 2012

too much "sittin around"

I'll admit it. I'm starting to get lazy. My morning wake up time keeps getting later and later in the day and I do a lot of sitting and drinking coffee once I do actually get my behind out of bed. This seems to be a byproduct of sitting still too long with nothing much to do and needs to change. :-)
Last year at this time we were guarding a gate out in the giggle weeds of Texas. I got pretty lazy there too even with all the up and down the RV steps checking folks in and out.
I think I need to start walking or ??? I used play a lot of golf. You can get some pretty good exercise on the golf course providing you stay away from the rental carts and walk. My back problem and subsequent surgery back in '97 that ended my law enforcement career also put an end to golf for me. I miss it sometimes but even if I could still play it has been colder than a witches toe around here. :-)

Speaking of cold weather ...... we have been pretty pleased with the insulation in the motor home versus the 5th wheel. The furnace in the 5er would cycle on and off every 10 minutes or so when the outside temps dropped below freezing just to maintain the inside temperature around 70*. We have always used a couple of electric heaters to assist the furnace and even with these the furnace struggled. Now we have been sitting the furnace on 69* at night and the furnace comes on once or twice the entire night. During the day we have kept the electric heaters on and the furnace doesn't run at all. The other night the outside temps dropped down to a low of 22*, the furnace came on 3 or 4 times all night compared to the 5th wheel which would have been running like a freight train!
The motor home does have dual pane windows where our 5er did not. I have always heard these make a difference but .... WOW!
I do have a remote thermometer mounted in the "wet bay" where all the water hook ups come into the coach. So far the lowest I have seen in the bay is 40*. Should things start getting colder in there I plan on putting a light bulb in the bay to help keep things from freezing. Of course we are using our "heated hose" that I made using a heat tape mounted to a heavy duty white hose and insulated with foam pipe insulation. This is our 4th winter using it and it works like a charm. :-)

Still no news on the work front. We are hoping that they leave us alone until after Christmas, but you never know. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Helping out a new fulltimer

The other day I was walking and struck up a conversation with a gentleman who was standing in the doorway of his brand new travel trailer. He told me he and his wife were new to the lifestyle and had some questions, if I didn't mind talking for awhile.
Well I love to talk about fulltiming, RVing, workcamping, traveling .... you name it! :-) We talked for quite awhile, like we had known each other for years. He had a lot of questions about cold weather camping. He told me he and his wife have no kids of their own but have a large extended family who live "up North" and that they spend time with. They also have a part time job that helps fund their travels and would be working all the way up to Christmas so needed to make sure they stayed warm and all the utilities functioned.
I explained the things we do to keep from freezing and how to insulate and "heat" your water hose as well as gave him some options for handling the black and gray water. He was very thankful for my help and I only wished we could have spent some more time together but they were pulling out today. He told me that this time of year is his busiest time and he needed to get back to work. We exchanged information and promised to stay in touch, he said he would follow our blog regularly to see what kind of "mischief" I was getting into. :-)
I did manage to take a quick photo with my i-phone (sorry about the quality)

So now you know, Santa and Mrs. Clause are actually fulltimers! Better keep your eyes open for them and make sure you don't end up on the "naughty list"! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 3, 2012

still chillin'

I guess I have been neglecting the blog a little. There just isn't a lot to write about. Our days have been filled with running errands either for ourselves or for Rudee's Mom. We have also been doing a lot of Christmas shopping and have our lists completed!
I purchased a 3' Christmas tree the other day and it fits perfectly on the dash of the RV. The lights were already on the tree so it was an easy set up. Now the challenge will be to get it back into the little box it came in once Christmas is over. :-)
We have been in contact with our company on a regular basis and things are just slow right now for us "Roving Managers". There are only two of us and both of us are sitting right now. They assure us things will get busy again so we are just enjoying the down time. :-)

A couple of days ago we were bored and looking for something to do. We decided on a movie and headed for the local "movie house". We decided to see the new release "Killing Them Softly". We both thought it was a pretty poor movie and unfortunately cannot recommend it. We decided not to give up though. I had been wanting to see the movie "Lincoln" so we gave that one a try last evening. Much better! Being a history buff I really enjoyed this one even though I'm sure they took some "liberties" on actual historical events. Regardless we enjoyed this one much better. :-)

Our internet connection on our mifi is not the quickest here so no pictures on the blog for awhile. :-(
Not much happening that is "picture worthy" anyway, but I'll keep you posted.