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

Friday, March 29, 2024

Spring has Sprung almost time to migrate North

 As the title suggests we are slowly getting things ready to head back to Indiana. Rudee will drive our van while I ride the motorcycle. We plan to use a similar route as last year meaning no interstates if we can avoid them.  Our preparations include eating as much as we can from our refrigerator versus eating out. We do have a 12 volt/110 volt cooler/freezer that we can take some things with us but it is pretty small so only the necessities make the trip. We wont take a lot of clothes since we have some duplicates in Indiana but we always seem to include as least one big suit case of our favorites. Plus we always forget to make a list of what we have in the 5th wheel and what we need to bring so it might end up being two suit cases. LOL.

The campground opens for the season on the 15th of April so our plan is to leave around the 14th depending on the weather. We need a 3 day window of decent riding weather (no snow or freezing rain) to make the 1,000 mile trip. I'm pretty well equipped with cold riding gear, full heated water proof suit and warm insulated gloves as well as face masks and water proof riding boots so if we do have some cooler temps I'm pretty comfortable. 

We have been getting in as many rides as we can the last few weeks. Our group down here ride to lunch every Wednesday and Saturday. We also have been meeting our buddies Tom and L.D. for a ride each Monday. We have known them for 30+ years and they are part of our Indiana riding group (and now our Florida group as well). They left yesterday to travel back to Indiana and we look forward to picking up our rides again when we get back North. Here are a few shots Rudee took on some of our rides. She is really starting to become quite a photographer from the back of a moving bike! :-)


For our Indiana family and friends ......we'll see ya soon. and of course, I'll keep ya'll posted!

Monday, February 26, 2024

Where's Waldo?? AKA: Where the heck have you guys been???

 Hi All, Phil and Rudee here and yes we are still kickin'! Let me tell you what we have been up to. We left South Dakota and traveled to Indiana visiting family and friends. Rudee read of a work camping job in Florida at an Escapees Park so we applied for that and was hired. We headed south and spent a GREAT winter living and working at Florida SKP Resort in Wauchula, Florida. We met some lifelong friends there and really enjoyed ourselves. 

During our time here we made some decisions on what we wanted our future to look like. In January of 2022 we notified our renter that we were intending to move into our home in Zephyrhills by October 1st. She has been a great renter and we wanted to give her plenty of notice to make accommodations. This was a really tough decision but we have always kept the place here for our own retirement some day. 

The RV Park offered us work for the summer so we could not only stay in the RV but could also work on the house on our days off......and boy did we work! New carpet, new drapes, painted every room including the ceilings. I even painted the cement floor in the lanai after removing the indoor/outdoor carpet. We had furniture delivered and even bought a golfcart, now we can look and act like true "snowbirds". 😂  

We left Florida and back to Indiana in August to rest and decompress for a couple of months. We have had our name on a waiting list for a "fulltime" seasonal site at a campground in Indiana but when October rolled around we parked the truck and RV in our daughters driveway, winterized it and headed back to Florida catching a ride with our buddies Steve and Trish who winter in Bradenton, Fl. We were really looking forward to our first winter as full fledged snowbirds and Florida residents.

We were settling into our house when we received word that we had a seasonal spot for 2023 (and beyond) if we wanted it. Heck Ya, things are falling into place! We did get acquainted with a motorcycle chapter here in the area and went on several rides with them. They welcomed us with open arms and we settled into life here pretty easily thanks to them. 

Our winter was over pretty quickly and since we had a vehicle back in Indiana we decided to just ride the bike back north and leave our mini van here for the summer. Oh ya, we also bought a used pop-up motorcycle camper to use on our many trips and tours we are hoping to have. With the camper in tow we headed North and, since we are retired, I decided that we would make an adventure out of it! We never once touched a wheel onto an interstate! We drove through Florida and into Alabama where we spent the night at a State Park the first night. The next morning we continued through Alabama just following the GPS through the back roads. We would ride for a few hours, stop at a park somewhere and have a quick lunch out of the cooler and then back on road again. This day Rudee spotted a small city park (or so we thought) with a gazebo and picnic tables. We turned into the parking area which was across the street from a REALLY LOUD factory but beggars can't be choosers. We unloaded our lunch and headed for the gazebo and that's when I read the sign in front of the factory. This place was a Blue Bell Ice Cream Creamery with a gift shop and ice cream parlor! Needless to say we had dessert after our lunch, what a treat! 

We stayed at a Tennessee State Park that night and woke up to a cold rain YUCK! The weather radar showed it clearing just a few miles (75 or so) north if us so we bundled up and headed out. The temperature was in the very low 40's and we think we saw 38* one time.😟 

The rain finally quit once we had bypassed Nashville and it slowly warmed up......a little. We decided to spend that night in a motel......well it was either that or put Rudee on a northbound Greyhound cause she was cold and ready for a warm bed and a real heater! I found us a nice motel in Evansville, Indiana that had a Texas Roadhouse right next door! Am I a great husband or what??? 

We arrived in Indiana the next day and moved the camper over to it's new home. We slowly got ourselves settled in to campground life. Steve and Trish have their rig parked there as well so we get to spend time with them and their family. Our daughter Amanda and her family live less than 20 miles away and our son and his family are only about a 6 hour drive in Pennsylvania. Life is good. 😎 

We spent our summer going to several motorcycle rallies including the national rally of our new organization, the Eagle Wings Motorcycle Association. Our old group folded back in July of 2022 just as we were reaching a time in our life to get back into the many rally's and rides. This group picked up where they left off and are growing more and more everyday. We attended the Tennessee District Rally, the Ohio District Rally, the National Rally in Knoxville, Tn. and the Alabama District Rally on our way back to Florida. 

This "winter" in the sunshine state has been a busy one so far for us. We ride with our Florida group Wednesdays and Saturdays as well as hooking up with good friends from Indiana Tom and L.D. Wetherald for several rides. The pictures below are of a ride we took just today to check out the Richloam General Store which is the oldest store in Florida and on the National Historic Registry. Really loved the store and yes, the pickle barrel was full of whole dill pickles you could purchase! Really cool place. Nobody lives in Richloam anymore and the store is the last remnant of the town. 

We are already starting to plan our trip back to Indiana. Our daughter and Son in law have purchased our truck so we will need to bring the van and the bike back with us. Since we don't have a trailer it looks like I'll just have to ride it alone while Rudee follows in the van. Hope it doesn't rain again because she will be ribbing me for sure!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Work, Rinse, Repeat

 First let me apologize for the long time span between posts, as the title suggests we have fallen into a routine here in the Black Hills and I have been a little lazy "blog wise". 

The weather here has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. We have had more thunderstorms than usual for this time of year and the temperatures have been higher than normal with several days in the 90's. Our two air conditioners are working OT to keep up on those days.

My work is enjoyable and I like doing the bus tours. I get to meet and interact with many wonderful people. I only work 6 hours per day, 4 days per week but we are so busy with visitors that my days are non stop. 

Rudee is back in the gift shop but her main duties have been in shipping and receiving. Her days consist of fulfilling internet orders as well as inventorying incoming stock orders. She has been extremely busy as everyone seems to be in a "buying" mood, which is good.

I picked up my golf game right where I left off .....mediocre. LOL 

I play in two leagues here at our local course; Tuesday is Men's League and Thursday is Senior League. I have been improving some but my season goal has been to break 90 for 18 holes. I have been stuck in the low to mid 90's for quite awhile and just couldn't break that barrier into the 80's. Well yesterday I finally got it all together and carded an 88! I was a happy guy to say the least. Now the hard part, repeating it. LOL

We had a nice "work camper" pot luck over the 4th of July week end here in the campground. Rudee and I skipped the fireworks show that Custer puts on each year, we just can't stay up that late on a work night anymore. I guess our "party bone" has arthritis! LOL

The next big even here in the Black Hills is the 81st annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Judging by the number of people vacationing here this year this one looks like it will be a BIG ONE! There are a huge number of campgrounds and hotels in this area and all have been totally booked since Memorial Day. We have trouble just finding a place to park in downtown Custer let alone a restaurant without a long waiting list to get in. Our grocery store is packed all day everyday and the staff is working OT to keep things stocked on the shelves. It's good to see everyone starting to travel and enjoy themselves after last year but WOW there are a lot of people here! LOL

Next week marks our halfway point to fulfilling our seasonal work commitment here at Crazy Horse. The time has been going pretty quickly but we are looking forward to our travels again to visit family and friends. I'll keep you posted! :-)