Ron and Terry's
fulltime blog We try
to boondock every chance we get... see where we find to stay in quality
low cost campgrounds. Less on camp fees, more for fuel, so we can take
side trips. We have the boondocking tools, solar, AGM bats, inverter, Honda
3000 gen, why not use them.
One of the very
top 10 Art Festivals in the whole country. This is a big deal. History
and Awards Who would thunk something like this could happen in
The festival is now
located in the new Western Gateway Gatwway Park in downtown Des Moines
which includes the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Ceck out the
video about the park and how it came together.
The John and Mary
Pappajohn Sculpture Park is built directly within a major crossroads of
the urban grid, making it unlike any other sculpture garden in the United
States, and will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the surrounding
neighborhood. It features 24 works donated to the Des Moines Arts Center
by the Pappajohns, including eight new promised gifts from the couple’s
renowned collection of contemporary sculpture and a new commission by artist
New buildings are springing up all around
this central western downtown park. It is the place to be. Des Moines is
a capital for Insurance companies and they are expanded in this area with
new huge fancy buildings trying to relate to the art they are intermingled
The famed Iowa State Capital building
is in the background. One of the best renowned state capitals buildings
in the nation. It sites on a high hill and can be seen over the city. Take
a tour of it.
Want to have a little wine with your art?
The show runs from 10 AM to 10 PM so you
can enjoy the nightlife of the area.
Yes that is Terry. I'm so good I
even got him to carry my camera bag. Not much in it except another 55-250
Several stages with live entertainment.
Terry had been wanting to sample the Indian
food. So he had Chicken Biryani from a Indian Delights
food vender. $6 He liked it. They had food offerings as in keeping
with a Culinary Arts theme so as you viewed and purchased art you could
also eat foods you many not have had before.
I had a Gyro which
had a tangy cucumber sauce which was very good. Well worth the $6 for it.
I had to capture this piece.
As you can expect the prices were pretty
high but this is after all a top notch national art event as the artists
come from all over the country to show. Only a few make the cut to even
to be able to show.
Just a few examples of the art.
Look at the detail.
The park is full of gardens and I just
had to try to see if I could capture a day lily in focus.
How about a can of paint art.
Now for another reason we went to the Art
Festival... I had to try out my NEW camera.
This is one fine camera. I had to talk
long and hard to convince Terry to allow me to get it. But he knew from
teh start it was a done deal. It is a new product from Canon this spring.
We are thinking about going back on Sunday...
just because we can. It is free...
Will check the weather first as it was
about 95 with a heat index of over 105 today.
I didn't melt and did better than I thought
I didn't even try to capture on camera
the art within the many artist booths. I was a little overwhelmed with
the art. Me also thinks you could argue that this art should not be viewed
with a camera in hand but just let ones mind absorbe it.
You can view each artist and pictures
of what they offer with a link to their web sites in the Artists
Gallery. A chance to view the latest in what is
out there in the creative art world. You can go to one of the best
art shows without having to travel to it right here right now. Both this
year and past years exhibits.
After looking at my first photos with this
camera I want to play more with the angles on my shots.
I had a film SLR many years ago with a
dark room, but have not been involved with what I can now do with a new
DSLR. Time to get back in the action and spend time again learning about
this art. I forgot all that I once knew, I can tell you that right now.
A big learning curve to be sure but one I can get into and have fun. A
new expanded hobby now that I have a quality camera to play with.
just have to yell into your Droid Incredible smart phone... Beam me up Scotty
there is no intelligent life down here... (My
version of a Bad Nick Blog)
Canyon (I feel stupid asking this) I
went there several years back and rode the train into the Grand Canyon
from Williams, AZ. Wife was asking if this time (as we travel back thru
Williams, AZ late this summer) can we not just drive into the Canyon?
but I never thought about it. I just figured that everyone had to get
there by the train like we did. If
we can what road do we take from Williams, AZ (I-40) to get into the Canyon?
you this guy is on the internet asking this question. No road maps on the
told him he could take HW 64 from Williams to the canyon.
writes back... Well actually I was going to stay at the Grand Canyon
RV Park which is close to the train depot. Ah, but now that I found Hwy
64...LOL...I am going to stay at Grand Canyon Camper Village. I have read
the reviews and they are not great but the rv park is only 1 mile from
the south rim. I guess this is one of those cases where I tell the wife
(honey I know it is not a pretty rv park) we are only staying here for
a day or two.
2 small dogs we can not be gone all day so we will pay the price by staying
at a park we would normally not stay at just to have more time in the Canyon.
ask him how did he make reservations so fast? Usually it is booked far
replies... Actually I did not get one yet. I have only made 2 reservations
in my life and both times we did not get there as planned. I am going in
October (my other trip to the canyon was in October and it was freezing)
so if it is full then it is back to Grand Canyon RV Park in Williams, AZ
and I will drive there.
to know they get full so now I can plan accordingly but again no reservation
for me (except maybe call the day before) because the weather is way to
unpredictable in October.
for letting me know.
he sez they are fulltimers... How did they get this far down the road,
me wonders. Wondering aimlessly...
try to help with this reply...
can go to GC
Trailer Village RV Park and enter the dates you want and it will bring
up a calendar to show you if your requested dates are available. You can
change the time frame and resubmit to find dates that are open.
were there in April and got in by paying attention to thier openings on
their reservation calendar to get a spot for a week.
out with great warm weather in between late season snow flurries. None
while we were at teh rim. Shorts weather...
if you are not planning to take the train or even drive (now that you know
you can) to the canyon this year do go to our blog
post back in April with photos of our week long visit to the canyon...
back to our regular scheduled program.
and storms now everyday in central Iowa. It's green to be sure.
you hve been following along... Still no callback from my doctor (visit
was last Wednesday) so I must be good to go, or they forgot about me. I
will have to call to get my A1C tests results. I do need to know
for my peace of mind.
went to his dietitian appointment today to get the spiel on how to eat
better now that he has been classified diabetic type II.
that will carry over into how we do meals. We both now need to get our
shit together so to speak.
what's left?... I have a dentist checkup yet this week and a visit with
my cardiologist next week. And Terry still has to do the clean me out thing,
so he can get his colonoscopy probe the last day of June. Our doctor month
time of year. Just in time for July 4th so to speak, so we can celebrate
our good fortune. Terry just reminded me we have to go back in mid July
to Wolfe Eye Clinic for a follow up on his double vision issues.
thinks we are still young so to speak... and so glad we got started fulltiming
several years ago. You never know when you can be grounded by health issues.
Me thinks we still have many more years to do our thing.
are starting to think about our plans for where we want to head, as we
are going west again as soon as we can get the hell out of Dodge... I mean
Just what Des
Moines needed. A new Bass Pro Shop of course.
we had to stop and check it out the other day.
had to sign up for a outdoor giveaway contest, whatever that was.
I got blown away with all the clothes and bought two pair of shorts and
a couple of shirts, and I might say all at a great sale price. I love this
store... They had lots of stock and all in my size. I even bought a new
outdoor hat. You didn't think you would see me modeling it now did
also found Terry some new $40 Cocoons
have had several of these in the past... Now if we would only keep them
in their soft cases so they don't get scratched up.
His old pair are on his
head in the picture. He wanted a pair that is darker.
Bass Pro Shops are not above
trying to sell crazy items... Who would want to buy this stuff..
First the item from the
sale flyer and then the picture from the store.
Just how many Jalapeno peppers
do you eat in one setting that you need to have this kitchen marvel.
Do you take this camping
with you, me asks.
Now the Big Bobber Floating
It floats to hold your beer,
after all it is a bobber don't ya see. Looks like the walls have think
insulation to keep things cold.
Now just what you want a
whisky flask the matches your kill knife. Now this is just plain
scary, me thinks.
Connected to Bass Pro is
Uncle Buck's Fishbowl (a bowling alley) and Grill.
They had to work had to
make the building look old.
I have to admit the Bass
Pro Shop was well done. This one was decorated even more so than a Cabela's.
And much better prices for clothes. Hat $24, shorts $20, nice pullover
shirts with open three button front (two for $20). Now if you're into actually
buying outdoor sports equipment they have that also.
I had my doctor appointment
this week and they didn't keep me, now waiting for the blood tests to come
back. So I'm on pins and needles waiting for the cell phone to ring. They
only call with bad news so we shall see.
Otherwise we we are doing
fine, trying to get our ducks in order so we can hit the road next month.
That's right after Terry
gets his rear end probed (colonoscopy) and a follow up appointment on his
double vision issues.
Terry is doing a small remodeling
project for his sister here where we are parked. Enclosing an upstairs
hall door to a room making a big walk in closet for them off their bedroom
into this side room. Then we will head on over to eastern Iowa and
do some work for his parents on their farm as we visit before we take off
again. That is if we get through the next few rounds of storms that are
predicted. It is hot and humid with heavy rain most every other day. We
have had about 7 inches of rain so far this month... and this is what,
mid month. Can you imagine what that amount would do in the southwest.
There is a reason they don't have to have farm fields irrigation systems
here in Iowa.
Our 5er slides are getting
a good exercise with us bringing them in during storm warnings. We have
the 5er frame chained down to hurricane ground anchors. If we are blow
away the frame may be still here with nothing on top of it.
When you are in an RV in
the midwest at this time of year, you watch the weather VERY closely.
Now for a last thought...
There is always much discussion in the RVing world about staying in WalMart
parking lots overnight as they say. But this is a whole new twist to that
idea, me thinks. Look at the shoes outside the tent.
forgot where I found this picture so can't give photo credits for it.
You have to pay
called and said our truck was done. $1390 Yes both the oil and transmission
leaks were fiexd. Along with new a serpentine belt and the surrounding
pulleys that were going bad. Oh and two power steering hoses were leaking
and replaced. A new dash cluster so the gagues will tell us what is going
on. That is enough for this trip to the service bay me thinks.
still in Quartzsite we had to replace universal joints and had a service
brake soon light and replaced the break controller for several hundred
thinks we know how to wear out a truck with the best of them. Now the good
news... they did a Goodwrench Vehicle Check and it came back that the brakes
were still OK at 10 mm still left on all pads. We were sure it was time
for a huge brake job at a cost of about $1K. But not so it seems. The report
sez 7 mm is still in the green and no service needed and we have 10 mm
left. About time we good truck news. Oh did I say we now have 86 K miles
on this 03 Chevy Duramax. Now the bottom line is this truck does great
job pulling our HitchHiker 5er. Put the Allison transmission in Tow/Haul
and just go. One fine truck for pulling.
We had a very
good day today.
was the day we had the apointment for Terry at the Wolfe Eye Clinic here
in West Des Moines.
had mentioned about Terry having double vision at times. Look that up on
the web and you will get scared, very scared, I can tell you right now.
So we were apprehensive about what we were heading into today.
did many tests and it was their opinion he doesn't have the scary issues
we read about. They made a temporary lens that is attached to his
glasses that forces his eyes to correct for the double vision. Who would
have thought a lens could redirect eye movement. Blood studies will be
done and we will be going back next month to see if anything has changed.
Surgery to correct the eye muscle tone may be needed but for now they are
hopeful that wont be needed. He even has eye exercises to do each
day to help strengthen his eyes muscles. Bless the fine people at Wolfe
Eye Clinic. They were very efficient with personal service.
for the not so pleasant news. We left our beloved Chevy diesel truck at
the dealer late yesterday for service today. They called... yes we have
a new oil leak and transmission pan leak. But also leaking power steering
hoses and some other like things in trouble. I lost track of all
the issues as they went on and on. Just fix them I said. What I should
say don't make the repairs? The dash cluster (you remember the tachometer
goes nuts at times) needed to be replaced. We were past the extended bulletin
for this known issue, but they will cover the cost of the new dash
cluster if I pay for the labor to put it in.
the bill will be substantial... But what's a body to do.. You pay and go
on, and be glad none of this stuff failed in the middle of nowhere on some
mountain pass. Next we need to get the brakes looked at. That's not cheap
Ya Know we don't have the expensive of a sticks and bricks home anymore
so might as well put the money in our truck, me thinks.
eyes checked out and on to physicals and blood work. I'm diabetic so need
a good A1C test reading. Plus I have a cardiovascular follow-up appointment
later this month. Once in awhile I have Atrial fibrillation/flutter issues.
(been much better) I have had in the past an angiogram and several nuclear
heart scans, all came up non life treatening with good results. I take
a whole bunch of pills for all this stuff, hoping they do what they are
touted to do. Keep me alive and kicking for many years to come.
June doctor appointments are always a scary time of year. Do they find
something that will keep us off the road or let us escape for another year
I think I just filled out that new patient form you do on a clipboard while
sitting in the waiting room to be by seen by a new specialist.
you are saying, you guys are still young... Yes, but health issues can
stop you dead in your tracks if your aren't careful. It's why so
many who run into health issues say they wish they would have gone fulltime
sooner. So glad we did it early, me at 56. We worked the numbers
and the emotional aspects if we should do it or not. So we went for it
and Ya Know we are saving money as we go. Got out from under our
house before the market totally died.
this old picture of our old house (in Akeney, IA) before the new roof,
siding and upgrades. Corner lot with another two car garage out back. Even
in 2003 we did have to spend 8 months to sell it. (Sold it in January when
we were in south Texas)
plan on having many, many more years of this lifestyle. After all I just
started SS last year. I'm still young damn it.
need to get through our doctor apointments so we can get back on the road.
We have been getting
situated in the green fields of Iowa.
several day life post.
is very different than the southwest which are brown and dry.
took a couple of months to get here as we went west from Quartzsite first
in vacation mode, going to San Diego and later for a week at the Grand
Canyon. Then off east to Kansas Toto. and now we have landed in Iowa for
A carryover picture from
our last post from May when we got here at Terry's sister's acerage north
of Des Moines. This is a spot we made for our visits. We need to get out
the weed trimmer and clean up around it.
This is the time in each
late spring when we stop back in Iowa to for our scheduled medical appointments.
Teeth, Eyes, Physicals.
and the dreaded blood tests.
I am diabetic after all. Not just for us but for our Duramax diesel as
well. This year we need to get small oil and transmission leaks looked
at. Plus our truck dash tachometer stops working at times. A known
problem with Chevy trucks. We already stopped at Chanute, KS at the NuWa
factory for the 5er checkup.
This is a time we catch our
breath and get recharged so we can go off again on our travels.
Our first to get done was
to our Dr. of Optometry visit last friday. I had a great report that my
eyes are looking fine. (pun intended)
No diabetic damage detected,
and no Glaucoma to speek of. My vision has even improved since my
Terry didn't do as well,
so we have an appointment with the famed Wolfe Eye, Nose, and Throat
Clinic here in Iowa on Tuesday. His sight is good but he has been having
some double vision issues at times and this needs to be checkout out ASAP.
Now Terry did have a birthday
on Saturday and normally we don't exchange gifts. But this year
I got excited and get him Teepee
Creepers. I chose the Original Teepee Creepers moccasin sheepskin
slipper made with a rubber sole. Made in the USA.
Sunday afternoon we took
a drive and I got out my Droid and punched up the local geo cache locations
so off we went on our first hunt. Yes our first hunt, but not our last...
Since I have this Droid Incredible it is so easy to do.
I found it, but Terry got
to get it down.
We added our name and find
date to the cache rollup inside and placed it back for others to find.
On Sunday night as I type
this post Terry is doing baby back pork ribs. A good dry rub, (we watch
the food channel after all) first in the oven and later on the frill for
that finish effect, and sweet corn.
It is a pleasent day here
in Iowa after the storms went through. More storms are predicted later
in the week. But for now, good sleeping without having the weather radio
turned on, in alarm mode. We were lucky as the last storm front moved to
the east as it came through us but didn't get as strong as it did with
the destruction the storms did to people and their homes in Illinois and
Ohio. After all, we are all in this together. It could just have
happened here as there.