left Cutty's RV park and very glad we did. It was just plain depressing.
So run down.
last today the sun came out. It had been cool with rain drizzle for a couple
of days. But we could be in AZ where they are having a pre summer way above
normal heat wave. We had made reservations to go to Griffs Valley View
RV park. Just a short jont across town.
landed again this time for a week in a a place we feel is more to our liking.
You can see our spot by the
sat dish icon in the picture and also an idea of its location below.
They don't have a web site
as they don't cater to overnighters but longer term stays.
One week $119 and a month
$420 electric included. Now that is not a bad deal. And they do
have a real top notch RV park. And friendly. I called, she took my
credit card number and told me the spot and that was it. The office
is not on site. The maintenance man stopped as we were backing in to say
hello and was over the top being friendly. The other thing is this place
is 99% full. Look at the Google map above, they have lots of spaces, small
pond, nice rec and laundry buildings all clean and new. One has a basement
for storms. Very strong for pay WiFi. No wonder it is full with happy campers.
Sites look close but no so
much when you see the below picture. Also this is the orig. section
so the spaces are much closer together. The newer sections are like
COE campgrounds... again look at the google map above. Since we are
here for only a week we got one of the orig. spots... Me thinks if we wanted
a several month spot... we would have been placed in one of he nicer
sections. But not to worry we are happy right where we are at.
This will work out well for
us as we have dental, eye, and medical appointments on Monday and Tuesday
and this is very convenient to the metro area. We will absorb the green
grass as you just don't get that back in Arizona. I promise not to get
down and try to eat it like a pet might do.
We did go just a bit to the
south to Bass
We are at the red plus and
as you can see Bass Pro is just to the south.
Only needed to take NE 62nd
Ave and right turn and go over the interstate right to the drive to the
Bass Pro store.
We found very good deals
in their clothing section. We came home with six shirts and two pair of
A big haul for only $116.
This stuff has a look and feel of some quality.
drive across western Iowa landed us at Cutty's
Des Moines Camping Club RV Park.
we would head right to Terry's sisters place north of Des Moines at Ankeny
but it has been raining big time and the ground is more like mush and we
would have had a hard time backing into our RV pad at their place. We have
tried that in the past and got stuck till things dried out. You do know
a dually pickup 2WD is worse than nothing on wet grass don't you. So we
opted to stay a few days at this Passport America RV park.
have not been here before... they call it a 5 Star Resort but in our opinion
this is as close to a dump as you can get. Strong words but we expected
a plush resort and this is not it. Reg rate is $44 PA rate $22 not even
a great rate. Sure they have swiming pools and such but it just doesn't
feel like a fun place. More like a state fair campground instead of an
RV Resort. And the roar of Interstate 80 right next door is deafening.
plans call for us to move on Friday to a different RV park and stay a week
for $119. Will get a couple of DR appointments out of the way and then
move to the Cedar Rapids area to his parents farm and then come back later
in July and stay at Terry's sisters when it is dryer for the rest of our
appointments. Get a U-Haul truck lined up and load it with stored stuff
that we want to take back to Arizona. Now like all things fulltime RVing
is set in jello. It's going to be a jello shimmering summer...
did go to our favorite Iowa food store chain... Fairway
Foods for a couple of their charcoal steaks, a pint of their homemade
ham salad, and real casing hot dogs at $4.99 a lb. Yes for hotdogs but
that crunch when you bite into one is worth it. And they are fresh... not
in a sealed package. They have an old time meat department with many butchers
yelling who's next in every store. You have never seen such great meat.
Have you heard of the "Iowa
Pork Chop". It is 1 1/2 inches thick and weights over 1 pound.
Grill a couple of those and you will say... Is this Heaven... no
this is Iowa. That was a baseball movie wasn't it... But it relates...
also have Brownberry Natural
have missed this bread treat. Small loaf is $4.39 but well worth it.
the weekend in Vermillion, SD we moved down through Sioux City and east
up through the Loess Hills on IA HW 141 to Denison, IA. Read more
about the Loess
Hills and The
Geology of the Loess Hills.
deposits of loess are found across the world, nowhere but China are those
deposits higher than they are in Iowa. The Loess Hills encompasses over
640,000 acres of land with over 10,000 acres designated as a “Loess Hills
National Natural Landmark.” Who would think western Iowa would have world
class landscape. Check out the above links.
road was a fun drive but kind of rough... in fact the wireless card in
my desktop worked loose where I had to reset it to get it to find my wireless
router. Always a fun time diagnosing computer issues.
got to Denison, IA in west central Iowa our stopping point for a couple
we pulled into the Yellow
Smoke County Park in Denison we we surprised to see so many campers
still in place on a Sunday at about 1 PM. As fulltimers know most campgrounds
clear out early on a Sunday. Not here... many looked like they were here
for the season. And many had small tents in them and nobody around.
did find a spot where the people were close to leaving and was one of the
few our sites our satellite dish could get service out from so we waited
on them. In conversation with them and they explained why all the tents
in the sites.
People were holding sites
for the the Fourth of July. At about $225 just to hold a site... WOW.
See the notice above next to the pay station. The county knows excitly
what is going on and reaping in the money. They don't take resevations
for good reason... they can get paid for empty sites all summer. You would
not beleive the number of people checking every campsite post looking for
one to secure for the future. People are going to stop back before we leave
and pay to hold this one right before we leave. We said no problem we are
only here for a couple of days.
The bottom line is this is
a great county park and the sites are $16 a night. They have a swiming
area and even a couple of cabins to rent. We could see where they are adding
many more campsites up higher on the hill. They have free WiFi in the campground.
It doesn't extend to all areas as we can see it but can't make it work
well at our site. Me thinks like most WiFi systems... good but not
good enough. That's why we still keep our DataStorm system. It works everywhere...
if it can see the sky. While sitting outside saw many here drove by and
looked up at our dish wondering how that works.
Above view across from our
site and below a view from above looking over this fine county park. Crawford
county should be proud. With budget cuts so prominent these days this county
seems to have it's stuff together as this is a gem and well maintained.
Now that we have been here
a day... tonight we have to pay attention... we are in the midwest and
it's the weather that is never far from the mind. Tonight is no exception...
with tornado watches and warnings out to our west in Nebraska heading our
way. We will head to the main rest room building if needed. The park WiFi
is based from there so will take smart phone and netbook. We also can get
Omaha TV and I have the weather radio fired up and radar scans going big
time on my desktop. I HATE STORMS... It's so very green here
unlike in Arizona... but in Arizona we don't have tornadoes.... just wildfires.
OMG did I just say that!
Update: 8:32 PM
We are in Denison upper
right center. I think we're in for a long night.
Hope to see the light of day in the morning...
Just got the lawn chairs
in the truck so we can take them with us to the mens restroom sheltor so
to be secure in style. With our backs to the urinal you understand. Hope
the building is built well.
Update: 10 PM Storms
blow through and all is right with the world right now. We did close up
our slides and headed to the secure building. As we got there a guy
close by in a campsite was just fireing up his campfire.. big time. Huge
flames.. He had his RV awning deployed with lights and was blind to the
weather situation. I called out to him and said he might want to take cover...
it went on deaf ears. Sometimes you just have to wonder how people manage
to live to a ripe old age.
We lucked out and we did
not get the worst of the weather right here.... Now back in the RV and
satellite deployed... back on line and Happy Campers.
arrived in Vermillion, SD late afternoon on Wednesday and went directly
to the Lions
City RV Park (12 sites 6 electric) and found the last electric
open site and one where we could get satellite service through the trees.
We needed a receipt from an RV park for the SD Drivers Lic requirement.
No self registration envelopes since they have changed the fee schedule.
Now Free for the first three days. Ops that wont work. We callled the Parks
and Rec office which is located right next to park in the National Guard
Building. Left a phone voice message and they returned the call today in
the morning and said come on over and they would print out a reciept for
the drivers lic thing. Terry gave them a twenty and they said no
money needed but he insisted. We may stay here
couple days as this is a nice place to land. Grocery store (HyVee) across
the main street to the north and Walmart just up north on the the same
street. And a ball park right across the street. We got green grass, a
picnic table, fire ring, and 30 amp service. And like in the city RV park
in McCook, NE. FREE. What's not to like.
Terry had all his ducks in
a row and all went fine at the court house and he go his new 5 year drivers
took a drive to the Clay County park just west of Vermillion and next to
the Missouri river to see how high it was. Still just within its banks
in this area. The boad launch area.
is a shot of the Clay county campground. Nice park except no sites that
you can get satellite service out of.
Later back at the Vermillion
City RV park the National Guard rolled up and unloaded. Working the flood
Just to show how nuts I can
be... at Walmart I bought a box with three artificial fire logs.
May have a campfire here.
We do have fire ring and
picnic table. Been kind of having campfire withdraw. We had
many campfires over in the BLM at Quartzsite during the winter season,
but none at the property in Benson this spring. That would have been crazy.
Speaking of dry and dangerous.
These pictures are from the Monument wildfire that is just south of Sierra
It has now crossed HW 92,
the road to Bisbee. Our winter home is about 35 miles north of all this.
Pictures taken from Sierra
Vista looking south. We are following this closely on the internet via
Floods up here and fire down
there... Take your pick... Mother Nature can be a REAL Mother Fu*ker.
dodging fire closed roads (I-25) and taking highways that have three numbers
in them we went up eastern Colorado and even had to hold up and hide out
in the city of Cheyenne Wells... parking on a side street next to a building
looking for protection. (See map below) to wait out a severe storm warning.
We watched it all on our netbook teathered to my smartphone. It passed
just to the north and we missed the brunt of it. As soon as it passed
we headed at a fast pace north again. We made it to NE and are in the FREE
town RV park at McCook, NE.
And yes 30 and 50 Amp service
and several water spigots scattered around. Didn't see a dump station
but for free get a life.
Of course donations accepted.
Web site for Karrer
Park Limit 3 nights.
Our happy FREE home for the
night. Not bad. Who sez camping (overnight stops) has to be expensive.
Off across NE tomorrow to
see if we can make it to SD. The drivers lic. office in Vermillion is open
Thursday and Friday. We want to stay in their nice city RV park so
we can get a receipt for the requirements to renew his license. He
needs his official state birth certificate, (not just from a hospital)
SS card, reciept from an RV park or motel for one night, and a residency
affidavit that South Dakota is the state you intend to return to after
You can find all this stuff
The truck and trailer are
performing above expectations and we are happy campers when we're not yelling
at each other for missed turns etc. Once today we took a 20 mile back road
not planned without markings but it was going the general correct direction
so not a lot lost. Got to see even more of the blue roads. This one
was a very light colored blue road. Smooth and no traffic for many miles.
This happens from time to
time.... I get to yell very loud... which makes me feel good... at
the moment.. and my right hand companion responeds meekly saying it'll
be alright... but with wide open eyes looking very closely at his maps.
He knows he is in trouble when I reach for my Droid smartphone for the
map App. In this case no 3G sig so he was still in control. He recouped
Got us back heading north
on the main HW.
Once in awhile we have to
adjust our plans but that's what fulltimers do... don't ya know.
We had this trip planned since we were on a fast track schedule and to
take the dreaded interstate system. Since the wildfires closed our
fast track main I-25 route north we had to resort to the fun blue roads
and now so glad we did as this is a much better way to get to anywhere.
Across northern KS heading
east this is what you get on US 36
And we're not that much behind
schedule. All we have to do is get to Vermillion SD on Wednesday
or Thursday to make it to the DL Office at the latest on Friday.
Huston we have
I have a navigator
that sent me to a closed Interstate 25.
north in NM from AZ our plans were to go up the front range of Colorado.
About mid day as we were getting close to Las Vages, NM I turned
on the radio and got the news Interstate 25 was closed at the New Mexico
Colorado border due to wildfires. No idea when it would open... could be
closed for an extended time. Now what...
is a big deal that the main route going north and south is shut down. There
is no easy other backup routes except enduring huge slow delays over mountain
roads. Ya want to go through Taos to get from Denver to Albuquerque.
We got off I-25 at Springer,
NM and after conferring with others at the local Shell station we decided
to head east on US 412 to Clayton (on the bottom of the map). Tomorrow
will go north on US 287 to bypass all this. Going north not via the
front range but through the eastern plains of CO will make us watch the
weather more closely.
Now for the thing we don't
understand is when we were camped south of Albuquerque last night we watched
the local TV live news at 10 PM and they never reported on the fire or
the Interstate closing. As we find out it has been closed since 5
PM yesterday. Nothing on braking news on my computer which I checked
just before we took off this morning. Strange.
Anyway we are now at an OMG
yes a KOA in Clayton, NM the only game in town. But with a
rate of $26 we'll take it. And friendly to boot. No poopl and just grass
pads. But the price is right. And it beats eating smoke at a RV park in
Raton, NM waiting to see if and when the interstate reopens. They are evacuating
the north side of the town and we could have been in dire straights if
we tried to go that route.
So on Tuesday we will play
it by ear and take a good look at the maps and go from there.
Good news today.
had good news at the surgeons office in Tucson today. No need for
surgery or even to repack the wound as it should heal on its own.
This is a abscess and not a cyst. Big difference he explained. He sez it
may take several months to tell it if is healing properly. So we have time
to do our thing and and see how it goes. Terry is releaved and a new smile
is on his face. And I don't have to again be a close up in your butt
face care giver doing that wound packing thing. Think it's better to just
pack up the 5er and be more like fulltimers again and head on out of here.
Heading first up through New Mexico and up the front range of Colorado
to South Dakota for a drivers lic renewal for Terry and then to Iowa for
our regular spring doctor appointments. We were on the verge of having
to cancel and reschedule those. Later must get Terry in for eye surgery
for his double vision at the famed Wolf Eye Clinic. We will be busy.
But now at last we can get started on our summer plans.
are heading to the midwest where just today Des Moines had the most rain
in one day ever. If we could just get some of that down here
in AZ. It is dry and with wildfires in AZ we need to stay connected to
the local conditions. I can do that by going to Tucson KVOA
TV and watch online the local live newscasts. Plus our good neighbors
are paying attention.
Missouri River is going nuts from rains and with later snow pack melt reports
say it will be flooding for months. We need to get to SD and back to IA
again going across and through all this. I'm looking forward to the
adventure of on the road again. But for a time we will be in sprint mode
unlike what fulltimers normally like to do. I'll try to pace it so we can
enjoy the journey and to see new territory beyond the curve in the road
ahead as we say on Hitchitch.com. More from the road soon.
Dealing with the
good and the bad.
the good news... Sunday Terry's Birthday.
that's the end of the good news.
the last couple days he has been complaining of it hurting where it hurts
the most. Ya you guessed it the... rear end. Now we all get a little itchy...
scratchy down there from time to time. I know I do. But his problem
persisted and it got to the point where he could hardly get off the couch.
So it was where is the flashlight and time to do give that area a good
look. Always a fun job. Why are we as humans so sensitive to talking about
that part of our bodies. We all have one and if you intake you have to
taking a look was nothing new for me (not that I like it you understand)
as if you remember I had to be chief care giver a couple of years ago when
he went through a very painful pilonidal cyst. You get to Google search
that one. He was in the hospital for several days at that time.
I later had to repack the wound everyday for weeks.
something was going on again and after talking to the United Health Ins
Nurse we headed to the ER. So here we are again doing the cut and pack
thing on the rear end. This procedure was done in the ER (hoping an perianal
abcess is not as serious as a pilonidal cyst) as we got out of the ER early
afternoon. Stopped for meds at Safeway thinking their pharmacy would be
faster than WalMart. Also needed to pick up soft food at Safeway... Protein
drinks, clear soup, apple sauce and who knows what else as I through stuff
in the cart. I was on a mission to provide for a sicky out in the hot parking
lot (did leave the A/C running).
I did sneak in a huge Boston Cream Cake.. It was Terry's Birthday after
Couldn't be any heavy food
solids in that Boston Cream cake was my thought and after all if there
was so be it. We have a Birthday Boy here who is hurting... Terry
did light up a bit when I showed it to him after he was home and on the
couch recuperating. He had stayed out in the truck with the air running
while I did the shopping so had no idea what I was buying. It was quite
a variety when I placed the items on the checkout counter. Including the
panty liners and epsom salts. Got to keep that bottom tender no matter
what the gender. I explained that situation to the checkout lady
who was cool with it all and to my surprise the register spitted out a
$10 off coupon along with the regular receipt. She said your'e a winner.
Free $10 to spend on anything till 6/12/2011 Not bad.
Now after we got back to
our winter house... reviewing the trama of the morning our thoughts are
that we are so greatful we have a nice solid S & B place right now
to deal with these issues of health. We can always call and change
medical appointments up north that were scheduled prior. We can travel
later to those. Life is on our schedule... Think about that, it makes
all the difference.
Also it's kind of hard to
take a Epsom Salt sits bath in an RV. I didn't know this monster tub in
the center of our master bathroom would ever be used let alone come in
so handy so soon. I promise not to show Terry in it...
A Bubbly Baby Birthday Picture
Sits Bath To Ya All!!
We did take that
day trip this week I alluded to in a prior post.
along we found history.
though we needed to get the lay of the land in this part of the state.
So we went north on back roads (in the center of the map) from the Pomerence
Rd exit on I-10 just east of Benson north to Cascabel, San Manuel, Manuel
and up by Hyden to Globe. Then back down the main HW 70 to Safford and
to the interstate and back to Benson.
Little did we know the road
would turn to dirt at Cascabel for another 25 or so miles till we got to
But what the hell it's not
like we have never driven on dirt desert roads before. It's what we live
The views were nice as you
can see. And the truck with our new tires held up just fine. Like a large
dune buggy plowing up and over sharp blind turns just like the big boys.
It was a winding narrow trial like road at times.
A drive on back roads was
worth it to just if nothing else to see what was around the curve in the
road ahead. Now we know what it is like to drive this route... and we don't
have to do it again, do we. We stopped in Globe for a bite to eat at McDonnell's
as we just were not impressed with the town or anyplace to stop for a sit
So we went on, and on the
way down US 70 we turned right on Indian Route 3 to see what the Coollidge
Dam was like on the San Carlos Reservoir. Boy was that a trek on past
history that we had no idea we would learn so much about. A google search
does so provide the history to what we run across.
Let me tell you the road
was old black top and has fallen into disrepair and has left to degrade
to something you do not want to drive. The dam looked like something
out of the Planet Of The Aps. Surreal. Look at the arches and towers.
This was one hell of a project
in its time.
Now more of the story of
this project. Construction picture May 28 1928...
Of all the edifices erected
in honor of that most unassuming of presidents, Calvin Coolidge (there
are not too many), none are more impressive than Coolidge Dam. Constructed
between 1927 and 1929, and dedicated March 4, 1930, the dam is located
on Arizona’s Gila river and stores its water for use by the San Carlos
Irrigation Project (Gila River Indian Reservation). The original intent
was to address the water needs of the Pima and Maricopa native Americans
on the Gila River Reservation as well as the neighboring Anglo American
communities – and to solve the conflict between those groups over water
It should be noted that the water needs of the native American Pima “Indians”
were only considered when they coincided with those of “white” settlers.
Commenting at the dedication of the dam, satirist Will Rogers pointedly
quipped that “you folks got this dam built by using the Indians as an alibi.”
more of the above article
Crumbling concrete and to
think we drove over it all the while thinking it must be safe... don't
Ya think. Not a soul around just us and the dam lost in time.
Below the view on the canyon
side. Wonder if a river rafting company has done anything with this.
Checking... the big raft
ride is on the Salt River. and on this one lower on from the Winkleman
Arizona City Park.
River Rafing for more. and Southwest
Paddlers for Gila trips that start in New Mexico.
The water level was down.
Not sure if in a month or so will it fill any with the summer rains. Overall
a lost opportunity for recreation and a money maker for the Indian tribe.
The whole area was just very
uninviting with deteriorating infrastructure and a feeling no one cares
about this end of the earth anymore if they ever did. Globe
to the north is close to the huge Theodore Roosevelt Lake Rec Area which
I bet does get used. Under Indian control and never brought up to
its potential for whatever reason. Not a vacation destination for most.
But if you want solitude you can find it here. There are back raods going
down to camping areas on the lake edge where you can have it all to yourself.
You sure can do your boondocking thing here.
Later on down US 70 the Safford
area is thriving as it has water for irrigation and the valley is green
We will at a later time do
more trips back up to Safford and take Route 366 to the Coronada Natl Forest.
There is also a state park close by Safford with trout stocked in the winter
months. So we shall see.
Click on the +
A Google Earth view looking
down on the Safford Valley. Looks like some nice high up drives and
Later south took the exit
for Willcox along I-10 and found it to be mostly a down and out town with
nothing going for it and more things closed than open. Later back
east in Benson we noted it looked like it was thriving... compared to those
other areas we had driven through. It reinforced our decision to buy a
winter home in the Benson area.
A good day trip was had
by all.. On Saturday it will be time to fire up the hot tub again, me thinks
in our outside... but inside spa area. Wont take much as it is warming
up here, hit 100 degrees this week over in Tucson mind you... we wont allow
that to happen here as we are higher up. But you can be sure we do
have the air running in the house.
Last thought... It's
the small things sometimes that make the difference. When we got back from
the day trip we noticed they had graded our dirt 2 mile rural (HOA private
road). It was getting a little washboardy and now it is smooth as silk.
The person running the grader must have taken their time so the grader
blade didn't jump up and down. Whan a grader goes too fast the blade jumps
and that is when you get a washboard road. Now still dusty (that will never
change) but soo smooth. Well worth the $200 HOA a year fee for road maintance
if it stays this nice. We at our winter seasonal place, are at the end
of a dead end lane. Life doesn't stop here... for us, it just begins.