Sunday, October 29, 2023

OK, it’s time to pretend like we’re grownups again

Elks Lodge #2390 Amarillo, TX October 29, 2023

We raced to Amarillo, TX to get positioned for the rain and sub-freezing temperatures that were predicted for panhandle Texas and Oklahoma. As EJ said, “It was a dark and stormy night”. Well it was dark, and the wind was howling, the slide toppers were flapping but the predicted snow and freezing rain was disappointing. Not that I’m complaining mind you, but I expected more based on the dire predictions by the weather prognosticators. Regardless, we were prepared. The heat was on, we put an extra electric heater in the wet bay and the water softener was drained to avoid freezing damage. It did get down to 27 degrees and all the way up to 33 today but the precipitation failed to put in a serious presence. We woke to slick steps and frozen slide toppers and this.


That is frozen rain stuck to the side of Miss Mosey. Soooo, what this means is that we will spend an extra day here at the Amarillo Elks Lodge to let everything thaw out (The temps are expected to be 10 or 15 above freezing tomorrow). We will resume our trek toward responsibilities on Wednesday, November 1.

I shouldn’t project such dire gloominess since part of this journey involves fun. We are going to visit friends Tina and Johnny Roush in Hot Springs, AR November 6 through 8 before heading to Red Bay, AL to give Miss Mosey some needed care.

Before delving into Miss Mosey’s needed physical uplifts, a little history. When we acquired Miss Mosey in July of 2017 she had a chip in her windshield. The original owners had graciously adjusted her price of acquisition accordingly. On our previous motorhome, Big Guy, we had replaced his windshields 5 times in 2 years. The insurance company was not happy with us. We decided this time around to not be so anal about the windshield.

However, 5 chips and one big crack later, we feel it’s time to replace the windshield even though it is a huge target on the front end of Miss Mosey just screaming “Hit me, hit me!”. We know that within months of the replacement we will have a chip in the new windshield.

Since we were gong to be in Red Bay, AL anyhow, we decided to see if we could get some other stuff done too. For those unfamiliar, Red Bay is where Miss Mosey was built and is considered the Mecca for getting repairs and upgrades accomplished. But, October and November are extremely busy in Red Bay because all the snowbirds are headed south and a bunch of them stop by Red Bay to have work done.

So, I was not expecting to get much more accomplished other than the windshield replacement. We enlisted the help Happy Host Concierge Service to make the additional appointments. To our surprise, they were able to schedule us for almost everything on our list. Miss Mosey is scheduled for a new steering bell crank, new Koni shocks, new bushings on the front sway bar, getting her counter tops polished, replacement mats for the cockpit and stairs and getting the patio awning realigned. The week of November 13 is going to be very busy. Here are some pictures of the windshield that started this fit of responsibility.


But the responsibilities don’t end with taking care of Miss Mosey. We will continue on to Florida to renew vehicle registrations, replace verizon with visible, pay taxes, renew credit cards, visit our doctors and dentists, get Frank cataract surgery and work on the property in Branford, FL. We need to make another appointment for Miss Mosey to get her 60,000 mile checkup in Gaffney, SC. Plus make plans for our summer trip to Newfoundland.

But on the plus side, we will get to visit more friends and be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with them. 

Obligatory cat picture follows:


How we spent our 2023 Summer Vacation

May 5, 2023 to October 25, 2023 – Lake Alice State Park CG, NM

Opera Snapshot_2023-10-29_163454_Summer20travels.htm


Be aware, this blog entry contains lots of pictures. Click on them to embiggen! 

A little over 2600 miles in 5-1/2 months. During that time we spent 15 days in commercial campgrounds and the remainder at Elks Lodges, Casinos, BLM campgrounds, Forest Service campgrounds, city campgrounds, state park campgrounds and dispersed camping.

As you can tell, staying in commercial campgrounds is really, really low on our list. Why put up with oblivious campers, screeching kids and barking dogs (along with their biological landmines) when you can enjoy spaciousness, peacefulness and wonderful views?

There are times when one must simply have a Trader Joe’s fix or a decent selection of craft beers that requires one to suffer the indignities of a commercial campground and their inherent drawbacks. The sacrifices one must make for Triple Ginger Ginger Snap cookies,  a decent bouquet of fresh flowers or a decent selection of stouts and porters.

Here are some pictures of our favorite spots this summer. 





This summer was also filled with animals. We have traveled to Alaska and Canada looking for moose without success. Lots of moose sign, but no moose. This summer it seems like they are everywhere you turn around. Unexpected, but most certainly appreciated.



And that dear friends, is how you spend a fantastic summer. Peace, quiet, nature, and the rejuvenation of the soul. As the T-Shirt says “Life is Good!”.

Obligatory cat picture follows:


Thursday, May 4, 2023

How We Spent Our Winter Vacation

October 19, 2022 to May 4, 2023 – South Chief Mountain BLM CG, Caliente, NV

How we spent our winter

We began this series of travel segments running from snow and now on May 4, 2023 at South Chief Mtn BLM Campground, we find ourselves right back in it. The difference though is back then we were worried about being trapped in snow for weeks, and now we’ll just wait a couple of days and it will be all warm and sunshiney again.


We have proclaimed this 2023 adventure to be about finding a place we would like to spend summers. Maybe not a place where we just go and sit for the summer, but a summer base from which to explore.

While we are not having trouble finding camping spots, there have been places we would like to stay but we get shut out by the “weekend” campers. We are finding that we like to stay places longer, one week or perhaps even two, but that’s a no go because of “weekend” campers. It’s great if you only want to stay somewhere Sunday through Thursday. But weekends? Forget about it!

So we’ve been reading about some RVers that are buying unimproved properties around the country  just so they will have a place to land if competition for campsites gets worse. That’s something to consider as we search for a summer base. Maybe a half dozen folks or so could form an exchange program, swapping stays at properties they own. Hmmm, just a thought.

Obligatory cat picture follows:


Friday, October 21, 2022

If It’s Wednesday, It Must Be Mosca

October 19 to October 21, 2022 – San Luis State Wildlife Area, Mosca, CO

Palisades to San Luis SWA

As we have said before this is another one of our favorite campgrounds. It is basically free, with the exception of a $10 per person annual pass. And, this is a really big AND, it has free 50 amp hookups. There is no water at the campground. The water system broke down years ago and after it went from being a State Park to a State Wildlife Area, it was never repaired. There is a dump station, but no water to flush with. The nearest water source is the Great Sand Dunes National Park, which is about 30 minutes away.

Last time we were here we couldn’t get our favorite spot because it was already occupied, so we choose a double site next to the camp host. Guess what? This is now our new favorite spot and we were able to get it again this time.

We made several observations this time around. When we were last here 3 weeks ago, there were half a dozen rigs that were here that are still here. But there is a 14 day stay limit, how can that be? Another observation is that it is mainly older people that stay here, not young families with screaming kids. (Yay!) That means the campground is very quiet. (Double Yay!)

I asked one of the folks that seemed to be here well past the 14 day limit about the rules. The response I got was the camp host is cool, just move to a different spot every 14 days and one one will hassle you. Hmmm. We will have to remember that next time.

Since both Verizon and AT&T cell and data service is very good here, we decided to get busy with planning. After all, that was one of the main reasons for coming back here. And dang it, we discovered the weather was going to deteriorate significantly over the next five days. Snow, freezing temps and wind. So that certainly lit the fire under us to come up with a plan.

The other thing looming over us was we had to get our mid-term ballots from our mail service so we could vote! No way were we going to sit on our fannies and let the other side win. We had to get to a Post Office somewhere warmer that would accept General Delivery. It’s a common misconception that all Post Offices accept General Delivery. You have to call or go by the Post Office of your choice to find out if they accept it at that location and to find out how they want it addressed. Sometimes you even have to fill out a form before they will accept General Delivery. One Post Office we found wouldn’t accept it unless you had a PO Box with them. What? If I have a PO Box what do I need General Delivery for? So, as you can see, it’s a process.

But, the weather was going to be great for the next couple of days, so we become tourists. We didn’t make it to Great Sand Dunes NP last time we were here because the road connecting to NP with our campground was under construction. This time it’s open. So we mosey on over to see the dunes,


and go for a hike.


We also went to Zapata Falls Campground, which is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Everything I read said the road to it was horrible, you needed a 4-wheel drive and high clearance vehicle. Apparently the information I was reading was very old. The road is paved all the way from Colorado 150 to the campground. This is a no reservation, first come first serve campground, that has 2 or 3 spots that Miss Mosey would fit into and the views to the west are amazing. We will be back.

Well, the weather is going to be getting nasty, so it is time to head south.

Obligatory cat picture follows:

Cat on a cold tin roof

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Peaceful Palisades Paradise

October 6 to October 19, 2022 – Palisades NFCG, South Fork, CO

South Fork to PalisadesAfter enduring a week of screaming children hell, we escaped to a small Forest Service campground that happened to still be open this late in the season. Most Forest Service campgrounds in Colorado close in early September just because. No real reason, just because. During September and most of October the weather is often quite pleasant. But alas, these dates are carved in stone, and must not be altered.

That’s why it is such a pleasure to find one that is still open. This one is an older campground as most of the sites are quite small. There are few sites suitable for big rigs. At this time of year the water is shut off and there are no other amenities. Just the way we like it. And there is this one site, a primo site, that just happened to be open. So we snagged it. This site is well away from the rest of the campground and is so quiet you can actually hear the Rio Grande River happily gurgling and splashing as it makes it way over the rocks on its southward journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

After we got set up we just had to snap a picture out the window. This is the Rio Grande right next to us.

River View

And another view to show our isolated spot. No screaming kids, Yay!

No 1 spot

The only drawbacks to Palisades is that there is no cell or internet service. But you know what? We did just fine for 13 days without it, well excepting forays to the brewery to pay bills and the visitor center to plan our next move. I generally check blogs I follow and the news first thing in the morning. But here, I catch up on magazine reading and just enjoy the view. And yes, it is a little chilly early in the AM.

Frank Reading

One of the things I did was to cut and chop lots of firewood for the evening fires.

Frank and ChainsawFrank and Axe

And we get to enjoy the fruits of my labors. I did my best to keep the bear box full of firewood.

EJ CampfireFnEJ Fire

EJ got caught up on assembling puzzles.

Halloween Puzzle

But lest you think it was all fun and games, tragedy did strike! Miss Mosey’s fresh water pump failed. This happened several times on our previous motorhome and we learned a lesson. We had a spare! Two actually. For without a working water system, life in Miss Mosey suddenly isn’t so carefree anymore. No water for the icemaker, no ice for the adult beverages, things could get ugly real fast!

So, out with the old,

Bad Pump

and in with the new.

Good Pump

Occasionally we do have fits of responsibility and must do adult things. Like EJ paying bills while simultaneously enjoying a brew at Three Barrell Brewing in Del Norte, CO. My job was to keep her company.

EJ Bill Pay

Back at Miss Mosey, we attempt to plan our next move using the road atlas, but apparently someone is having none of that. She likes it right where we are..

Gabby Map

She would be happy to sit and stare for hours. Here she is daring a ground squirrel to come closer. The squirrel (chipmunk, whatever) is sitting on the stump to the left. It was smart enough to not accept the challenge.

Gabby and Chipmonk

We also continued our quest to see all the yellow aspen we could. This involved EJ pointing me up various sketchy roads so we could get real close to the yellow.

EJ Aspen100


More Aspen

As a bonus, we even got to see some wildlife.

Pal Deer

Towards the end of our stay it started to get a little colder and we decided it would be a good idea to get a little lower and get back to somewhere with cell service and electricity so we could more easily keep warm and plan our next more. So back we go to San Luis SWA in Mosca, CO. But before we leave, one last look from our perfect campsite.

Last Look at Paradise

Obligatory cat picture follows:

It's early