Saturday, October 21, 2017

We're Back!!

And each car had a horn
New Year's Eve ball at
Times Square
After a summer that seemed to last a couple of weeks, it is time to hit the road again.  To start off our winter travels, we decided to make a quick trip to New York City.  My brother, Tom, joined us on the trip and he rented a car (which meant he got to drive).   We meet at the airport and drive across Manhatten to our hotel.  No problem as we had a gps as well as google maps.  Well, the rapid transit is above ground with the roadway beneath.  With that, along with the very tall buildings, the gps could not get a signal as neither could the cell phone get a steady reliable signal for our maps.  A couple of times we had to retrace our steps and give it a second try.  We were never sure if we got the horn as that was a common occurrence.  Not only did we we get to see some of the better known sights of the area, we also got to meet and to visit some family that was virtually unknown to us.  An opportunity came up to attend a cousin's birthday party.  While we had visited with this particular cousin several times, we knew nothing of other members of her family.  What a thrill it was to meet them and chat with them.  We left with  promises to stay in contact.  To me, that means another trip to New York is a definite must.

After a very long day that saw us getting up at 1 a.m. home time, we left New York and headed home planning on a busy day as we were planning on heading south the next day.

Steinaker state park in Utah 
where we camped
BUT, they were predicting very strong winds so we decided to wait until morning to make our decision.  The motorhome was packed so we didn't need much time.  Watching the weather forecasts very closely (hoping we could trust them), the winds were to hit about noon and carry on through the next day.  That meant one thing - hit the road and beat the winds so off we went.
The first sign says "one way - 
1.5 miles".  Guess it's shorter
coming back

While we did encounter some wind, it didn't hamper the driving at all so we were able to get to Gillette, WY (almost a 500 mile day).  Although we did lose a roof vent along the way but it was likely incredibly brittle.  It wasn't raining and the temperature was pleasant, not a big problem.  We did stop in Casper, WY, picked up a vent, and half hour later we were on the road.

In the past when we drive into Gillette it is generally dusk and the highway is lined on either side with deer making it a very nervous drive.  This year it was not so - a few deer in the fields with numerous antelope but not along side the road.

Our plan as to spend a few days around Moab, UT.  Oops, that wasn't going to work as it apparently was like reading week and every parking spot, camping spot, etc. was full so what more could one do except carry on.  One has to love the signs "open range" which I wonder why as the land all seemed to be fenced.  Well, we saw cattle, horses, goats, sheep, and llamas all along the side of the road.  In fact, the only thing we saw inside the fence was deer!!

We came down to Chinle, AZ to do some sight seeing around Canyon de Chelly.  We did take a bit of a drive and the canyon is incredible.  More to see in the next few days.  

I hope everyone has a great week, until then...........

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring is Here

According to the calendar, spring is here.  That means winter is officially over so maybe it's time to start heading home.  Having said that, that is exactly what we did.

We had just spent a very enjoyable week at Pahrump - even if it involved some work.  Everything is nice and clean so we even took a drive out into Death Valley in search of wild flowers.  It had been fairly cold throughout the winter so I think that maybe we were a bit on the early side.  We did see some Yucca plants flowering - it is truly amazing how a plant that looks like it is on the verge of drying up can produce such large, showy flowers.   While Death Valley is home to a real variety of landscapes and terrain, we did see a large dust devil go across some flats - much larger than we usually see at home. 
It was time to head out to spend a couple of days at a favourite spot - Virgin River Canyon campground.  This campground is about halfway between St. George, UT and Mesquite, NV and is incredibly beautiful.  It also gave us a chance to go into St. George to visit some friends which included a wonderful supper - thanks Rick and Sandi.

As we watch the weather reports, we have to decide when is the best day to hit the road.  We really like about three days of good weather but there didn't seem to be any of those in the near future.  Off we go, hoping to get ahead of the first wave of storms but that wasn't about to happen.  About an hour after we hit the road, we hit the storm.  Throughout most of Utah we had rain, snow, or a combination of both.  Fortunately, the temperatures were warm enough that it wasn't freezing on the road, but there were places where the slush was starting to build.  Once we got through Utah, it was smooth sailing.  Even with that, day one was 530 miles, and day two was 670 miles.  That brought us to within a 150 miles from home - a walk in the park.

The weather at home was great - +15C and no snow so unpacking was a real breeze.  In fact, we are still wondering what we forgot as the unpacking process was so quick and easy.

That ends our winter trip which was fun and busy and a whole lot of miles (besides a trip to Hawaii).  We saw a lot, did a lot, and look forward to more adventures.

While this concludes my weekly blog, there may be sporadic ones throughout the summer, depending on whether or not we decide to deviate from the ordinary day-to-day activities.  I do have some ideas on blogs throughout the summer where I can recap many more photos of our winter travels, but that remains to be seen whether or not it really happens.

Thanks for following along with our winter travels.  We hope we were able to pass along some of our enjoyment as we shared our adventures.  Have a great summer and hope you will be back next fall.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Back on Track

Well, I'm back on track with my regular Saturday night weekly run-down.  And another interesting week!

Driving into Lake Havasu
Last week as we were heading into Lake Havasu we were having some trouble with heating.  This week, as we left Lake Havasu, after a radiator cleaning at the car wash, our heating trouble seemed to be over.  Except, it seemed that the engine was too cool and it wouldn't stay warm (or as I understand it).  As a result Gerry decided that the thermostat was stuck open - apparently quite a problem in the cold weather as we would not have any heat as we head home.

Since we were on our way to Pahrump (an hour out of Las Vegas) we continued on.  A google search showed that there was a firm in Pahrump so after a quick phone call, we were booked in.

Since Pahrump is not a very big centre, the parts were not available locally but we could get them in Las Vegas.  Off we went on a road trip.  By the time we got back, it was too late to have the work done so we spent the night in the compound (we are getting good at that).  I must say that the staff were very friendly and offered us electricity and water but we really needed neither as we are totally self-sufficient.

The display beneath the bunk
The repair depot was incredibly interesting.  It was also a trucking firm and they had 24-hour security.  The owner, and several of the staff are from Quebec and some spoke very little English.  Gerry learned how to make aluminum wheels shine as he watched, and got advice from a couple of gals that were doing exactly that.  The owner had a semi that had been dressed up, and I mean, dressed up.  Beneath the bunk in the sleeper, there was a western display of miniature characters.  I tried to take several photos of the truck itself but it was too much like taking a snapshot in a mirror.

They were ready to work on our motorhome by 7:30 the next morning and we were on the road by 10.  And the original diagnosis was correct so we should be back in business.

The rest of the week was rather busy.  Gerry waxed the beast and I shampooed the carpets.  The temps have been hot so thank goodness for air conditioning.  Now hopefully we can spend a couple of days relaxing and enjoying the sun.

I hope you have a good week!