Sunrise in western Minnesota

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some Days Are Like That

We are getting closer to being finished here. Time to get the RV ready to move!
I felt bad about not running this RV in 6 months but that's how it worked out.

I've been keeping up with the battery water so that wasn't a problem, I did put the charger on the vehicle battery & took care of a few engine things I'd been planning on doing (new coil, new fuel filter at the carb & replace some vacuum hoses). I checked the oil & started it up. It took a few times to get gas up to the carb but it started right up and ran well.  :)

Then I tried the brakes. This is always a time of worry for me, it's been sitting for 6 months. The pedal went slowly to the floor and the brake warning light came on. 
Repeated pumping didn't change anything.  :(
Some days are like that.

Then to work. The master cylinder was half down in one chamber & 3/4 down it the other, I topped it off.  I inspected everything under there, no visible leaks. I bled the brakes, the pedal stayed the same but the brake warning light went out.
The light's out, is it fixed? Well, the fluid did go somewhere... probably not.

I have a maintenance book in the computer so I read up on this brake system, not much to it. A master cylinder attached to a hydro-booster.

The brakes aren't working correctly, nothing is leaking & I have the time & money ... so I ordered both the master cyl & booster. They should not be hard to change, the bleeding is a pain but some days are like that.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The winter weather warning

On my browser at the bottom I have a weather thingee that changes every minute & shows a different place. I picked the places that it shows so it's where we are, where the kids live or places I'd like to go.  I glanced down and saw the predicted highs for Yellowstone. Oh wow, looks like winter already!



Then I went to the warning




It's not bad here yet





Nothing of our plans have changed, it is just a reminder of what is down the road. We were leaving next week anyway.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The move...

It's almost time for the 1200 mile drive to some place warmer.


Altoona to Rockport with a stop in Canton

A variety of things conspired to wake me up early today and my thoughts turned to moving in 8 days, this RV has been parked since April & there are things that have to be done.
With this 'sitting in one place for awhile' lifestyle I think a 5th wheel would have been a better choice for a home.
I made a list of "must do" things to put on the wall.

I have to work today so it will be 3pm before I get to anything on my list.
This morning I did look at the Sunday comics, checked the updated blogs, had my morning bowl of oatmeal and then for something different I had a grilled cheese sandwich (sourdough bread) for breakfast.
(The pot has black beans soaking overnight).

Grilled cheese

The last time I had one of these breakfast urges it was a bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich.


While checking the blogs I realized it was time to put something new on mine and the upcoming trip came to mind.  Not so much the trip as the google map showing the trip!
Finding out how to get the map from the computer to my blog turned out to be not that hard to do.

The Rockport Texas area

I'd like to wish everyone a pleasant Autumn!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Autumn has arrived...

Yesterday I wore long pants to work on the RV because is was not warm out. This morning when I got up I thought about turning on some heat.
During the week it was in the 100's & today I'm going to wear a coat to work.

Fall has arrived and I have over 2 weeks left here in Iowa.


I was outside last night listening to the road noises. I-80 here in Iowa sounds different than I-10 did back in Arizona. Trains off in the distance sound about the same.
I can't 'see' the road from here like I could in Quartzsite but that's ok.

Those are the sounds of our modern life going on around us, without those sounds my life would be very different right now. If they were to suddenly stop I suspect the 2-4 weeks after that would be both unpleasant and memorable.

Some people go to great lengths to get away from the sounds of civilization.
I enjoy the sounds on a deserted beach as much as the next person, or the sound of a brook running over the rocks in the forest, a place where the crickets & frogs as the only noise, or the sounds you hear at 2am when you view of the night sky and the nearest neighbor is 1/2 a forest mile away.
Then again I have sat in my chair & watched the trucks carry the world past me on I-10, listened to the bad tires & the rumble strips, listen to the noise that our world makes.

Those highways & what they support allow me to do what it is I'm doing right now.... Typing on the computer & thinking about warmer places  :)

Oregon  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Deadlines....

[Edit note- I use my blog to watch the blogs I read & really noticed the 'days till we move' number in bold when I do... as the days roll on it was wrong, I had to fix it]

Thru much of my life there have been "deadlines", things that had to be done or places I had to be by a certain time.

School & the school bus, term papers, home work, dinner, work & take the garbage out were all common everyday deadlines. Some type of requirement was always there, it was normal, it was the fabric of my life. They were forever if anything was.

Then one day they weren't.
Well the deadlines weren't really gone, it was work that went away, the kids were grown & it just seemed like the deadlines stopped. They didn't of course, the garbage cans still had to be taken out Tues night...

Months pass. Things change again, back at work & I have to be out of the house by 0930 for my five minute bike commute to work & it continues.
Different but still the same, the comfortable sameness of an old acquaintance.... the deadline.

Now I have another deadline, in 16 days we need to start the motor on our home and drive it somewhere else.
That's what our home was designed to do, it shouldn't be that hard, people do it every day, at times we've done it everyday & I KNEW this day was coming when parked here on the 5th of April so it is no surprise.
But still my mind sees it as a 'deadline' & a big one.

At Quartzsite we sat for two months, it's been over five months here (so far).
I'll top off the start battery the day before I need to start it.

On the bright side we have a destination, going to Texas!
The plan is to check out First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX then head to Rockport and see what the gulf coast has to offer for the winter.

Another deadline..... I sure hope my house starts....


I have to add a photo or three & I can't think of any that have anything to do with deadlines so these will have to do.


Bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeno peppers in a dutch oven
A rest area in Washington state named by Lewis & Clark
John Day Dam, Colombia River, Oregon side
It was good to see someone else has a sense of humor



Please, a moment of silence while you recall where you were the morning of Sept 11th, 2001.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

I live on the Hellmann's side of the country!

 
Some things are different in the east... bridge heights, mayo brand names & TV/Radio station call signs are a few that come to mind...

I wasn't sure where the line is for the mayonnaise name is but in Washington state, Oregon, California and Hawaii the stores carry Best Foods Mayonnaise. In Iowa we have Hellmann's. 
All right, I looked it up ....they change the name east or west of the Rockies. That was a hold over from when Best Foods bought the Hellmann's brand in 1932.

We are still in the land of radio & TV stations starting with the letter "K", I believe that line is the Mississippi river.
(Well roughly the Mississippi river, where we lived in Minnesota we were east, then south and finally west of the Mississippi river.)

Back at the Home Depot warehouse if they were sending a truck to the east they had to make sure it was shorter in height than a truck for the west coast. The word was the overpasses back east were not as tall as the ones out west.

What brings all this on you wonder? I saw something today in a parking lot that brought on thoughts of 'what's different here'. It was something that I was very familiar with from my 13 year vacation in the upper mid-west.

It was nothing I wanted to deal with again but I did take a picture...


My house has wheels.....

Monday, September 2, 2013

Too many different restaurants to have a favorite?

We have some time, a little money & the desire to go out to eat now & then.  We are only here in Iowa for a short period of time.... There are a lot of restaurants in 'this' area so trying a different one each time we go out is a reasonable thing.

It sounds so reasonable but the reality is so different.... what do you do if you find one you really like? Hell what if you find that "one" dish at a restaurant?  Say that it was really good and then good-bye because you had a "plan" and one fine restaurant didn't fit in it?
Change the plan? There is only so much money that can be used for eating out, it doesn't happen every night.
Decisions decisions.

The reality is we go to ones we know we like and are affordable almost half the time & a new one the other times. Such is our life.

One of our favorites is the horse race track. They have a nice buffet at the track upper dining area (around $15), tables with screens to watch the action and a button to push if you want someone to take your wagers & don't want to walk the 50 feet to the cages.
$5 drinks, linen table cloths and $2 to wager on a horse is actually cheap entertainment.


Upper club dining area looking at the track


A table & TV screen at your table

The horse track is attached to a full sized casino & that's always a lot of fun. One thing I have noticed is the 'Penny Slots'. Cheap entertainment right? For a lot of the machines it is but when the penny slots have minimum wagers from 25 cents to 80 cents I have to wonder. It's still another fun place to spend $10 in entertainment money!

This is a one cent machine

The smallest bet allowed on this penny machine is 80 pennies