Travels and Travails (TIMELINE)

This page displays all of our posts on a scrolling Timeline.  If you’d rather access our blog by Places, choose the “MAP” view from the menu on the right (or bottom if you are reading this on your phone).

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Exceeding Expectations…AKA The very Definition of “Hooked up”

October 18, 2019

As we have disclosed many times in these pages, one of our inviolate Retirement Creedos is to NEVER have Expectations, so we are never disappointed. Usually, we pull this off, but it is pretty hard to suspend expectations about one of the world’s MOST PHOTOGRAPHED events – the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, which we have been

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New Mexico…even higher than Colorado!

October 17, 2019

Way back when, we had put a pin in the map for a couple of New Mexico events. The first was a rally in Red River, in the very Northern-most part of the state. And at a pretty high altitude for both RV WHERE YET and its human occupants – Over 9,000 ft. The former

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Good Timing and Great Peril

October 3, 2019

Before escaping Thermopolis, we had another “issue,” this of a technological nature. During the tank repair nightmare, I was outside after dark, using my phone as a flashlight when it fell off the ledge it was on.  Not more than a foot. No different than 100 other falls. But this one struck a stone or

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Things are Harder (and easier) than they should be!

October 3, 2019

First,  a Thot for the Day…On the Horns of a Dilemma! As intimated in previous posts, we have been seeking a place to get the tires on the Jeep replaced. Our goal was to replace all 6 (the spare, and the spare-spare as well as all 4 on the wheels). We needed to find a

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Wearing out the words…

September 13, 2019

I know; we have been waxing philosophic all summer about this spectacular place or that magnificent view. We need to agree to a moratorium on exclamatory terms such as these, or risk losing our reader (all one of you). Please forgive us ONE MORE TRANSGRESSION – because, well, Glacier National Park is ALL OF THAT,

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Calgary…with Kharma Fully Intact

September 13, 2019

Our path south next brought us to Calgary. Calgary was definitely a city one should approach without expectations. It has been hit hard by the oil economy, which is affected by LOW prices and also by Canada’s energy policy uncertainty. But, even with a certain amount of empty office space and unnatural quiet (especially downtown),

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Banff and the Icefield Parkway

September 1, 2019

Our next stopover was the town of Banff, where I had managed to reserve a spot at a Parks Canada facility in town for 2 nights. This was no small feat – it is coming up on Labour Day Weekend in Canada, and Banff is pretty close to Calgary. Most places were VERY FULL. But

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How can Mile Zero also be mile 7,000?

August 31, 2019

  Travelling the Great Alaska Highway was really uneventful. The road ranges from good to excellent most of the way across the Yukon and British Columbia. We have been to several stops with museums on the construction of this road, during WWII, and the current condition we experienced is a testament to Canadian Resolve in

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I spoke too soon! (so what else is new, sez Liz!)

August 23, 2019

Our stay in Whitehorse was always intended to be a brief one – primarily for maintenance.  You haven’t heard much about Bus Issues lately — and indeed RV WHERE YET has been performing well.  Still,  we build in a day here and a day there to take care of things — especially if we are

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Starting Home(ward)

August 23, 2019

This post finds us plotting our route out of Alaska and back to the lower 48. Our hope is to reach the Denver area (for reasons that will be exposed in later posts) around about the 19th of September, and Albuquerque by 6 Oct. Couple ways to go; we have decided to do an easterly

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It’s the little things (in unexpected Places…)

August 15, 2019

After leaving Ninilchik, we decided to stop in Palmer, just North of Anchorage. Our SOLE REASON for selecting Palmer is it is on the way to Valdez, and it is not Anchorage. OK, that’s 2 reasons. Now, it is not that we didn’t care for Anchorage – we did, very much. But been there, done

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Salmonfest – Festival and Peripheral

August 8, 2019

After Seward and Whittier, we travelled onwards to Ninilchik, which is a little town on the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula. Our reason for being in Ninilchik was NOT because of the town, though. The annual “Salmonfest” Extravaganza was coming up, and we had tickets! But, as always, the “Main Event” would be far

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Seward –SWEET! Best Place Yet?

July 30, 2019

Our next stop was the town of Seward, also on the Kenai Peninsula. This is about 90 miles as the crow flies from Homer, but unfortunately, RV WHERE YET does not fly like a crow. So it was about 200 miles, and about 4 driving hours. All of which is fine with us. Arrival in

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Earthquake, Fishheads, Ferry Rides and Stalkers

July 30, 2019

Our next destination was at the very tip of the Kenai Peninsula – the town of Homer, Alaska. Their chamber of commerce calls it the Halibut Fishing Capital of the world; we don’t fish but imagined it as a Beach Community with NO swimming…since water temps are about 45F. There was a campground on the

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Anchorage…Only an Hour from Alaska!

July 22, 2019

Our next destination was the city of Anchorage, with over half of the population of Alaska contained therein. Someone at one point had said (with a bit of a sneer) that “Anchorage is only an Hour From Alaska;” the clear implication that it is not much like the rest of the state.   They meant

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Denali and Talkeetna

July 12, 2019

These are two places that PROVE there is more than one way to get high in Alaska! We never book things very far in advance, which can sometimes work in our favor, and sometimes not. Access to the RV spots INSIDE the Denali National Park was impossible – all booked up. But we WERE able

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A Second Helping of Fairbanks

July 6, 2019

Like an ALL YOU CAN EAT Buffet, Fairbanks (and North Pole) get a second shot at the pages in this blog…and not just because we came BACK a second time and stayed at Pioneer Park for a few more days!   Lot’s to see and Love about the area, and we don’t want to give it

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As Far as This Train Goes (EVER!)

July 6, 2019

Wiseman (and getting there) was ALL THAT AND MORE. “That” being the farthest North Point we are ever likely to reach in our lifetimes. “More” being, well, read on! First of all, with the road and the construction on said road, the travel time was more like 8 hours each way; lots of dirt and

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Everyone needs a Secret (Fairbanks) Weapon!

June 29, 2019

Click Here for Liz’s Thot of the Day We moved onwards from Chicken, with our first destination being Tok. There, it had been suggested we should purchase diesel at a good price and Steve found an RV Park with an RV Wash. Both of us were carrying pounds at least, if not tons of mud

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Operation Chicken

June 29, 2019

I have previously mentioned Operation Chicken, a name coined by our ultimately unsuccessful Amazon Rep., in reference to her attempts to deliver orders to us in Chicken Alaska.  But,  the reason for our visit,  the Music Festival “Chickenstock” was an operation of magnitude more than deserving of such a name.  Ranking right up there with

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WAY OFF THE GRID – Operation Chicken Continues

June 20, 2019

The Amazon rep, who tried and tried and was ultimately UNSUCCESSFUL at delivering product to us at Chicken, Alaska, coined the name; and we thot it was appropriate for the WHOLE TIME we spent in and around Chicken, Ak. !!! I should tell the “END” of the Amazon story, first. Alexis TRIED to get product

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Dawson City – A Funky, Quaint Post-Industrial Wasteland

June 19, 2019

Before we get into our experiences in Dawson City, You might have noticed not much in the way of mechanical issues on the Bus in the last couple posts. That is true!!! RV WHERE YET has been a steadfast steed!   But Steve had an issue with his MUCH NEWER (yet still a vintage 1996) Foretravel!  

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Skagway – a PRINCESS of a town.

June 9, 2019

(and Holland-America-Dutch, and of course a Celebrity) I am referring, of course, to the Cruise Ships. The two days we were in Skagway, there were a total of NINE Boats. 4 one day, and 5 the next. Now, most of the boats have a MINIMUM of 2,800 people on board. SO, my rudimentary math skills

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Yukon, a Whole ‘Nother Territory!

June 8, 2019

We reached Watson Lake in Yukon Territory after driving on what can only be characterized as a really bad road. (Worried a little that this was NOT the worst we shall see, but it was the worst so far). The Cassier Highway is all paved, but very bumpy, narrow and with quite-sharp and steep dropoffs

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FAST INTERNET (or we died and went to heaven)

May 30, 2019

As we wind our way north, our first stop after Prince George was a place called Telkwa. This was a non-descript place at best BUT the owner of the park we stopped at exclaimed, “We have FIBER Internet and 120 Cable Channels!” Internet has NOT been great up here (and getting worse), but here was

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The Little Engine That Could?

May 29, 2019

I suppose the biggest story in this post is about the old engine that is travelling (at HIGH volume) to Alaska perched between Liz and Myself. There are some pretty impressive grades, that we have to tackle in First Gear at 10-15 MPH. But, we are making it!!! Sometimes leading a procession of so-far understanding

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Reverse Petro-Tourism

May 21, 2019

Our route to Canada was planned with a couple of very practical things in mind: Buy Diesel    and Buy Propane. ESPECIALLY The former is WAY MORE expensive in Canada; we’ll have to buy some eventually, but we might as well carry as much as possible. Our friends in Vancouver tell us that many Canadians

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The EXACT cost of Stupidity…

May 21, 2019

Our Alaska Voyage is now well underway. We made it to Vancouver as “planned” so we could group (can’t “re”group unless you have grouped first!) with our travelling companions, the Enfingers. Actually, we met up with them in Olympia, WA. So perhaps Regroup is appropriate, unless that was a “pregroup!” Our stay in Olympia was

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It’s all Liz’s Fault…

May 8, 2019

Thot for EVERY day (Click here) You are going to have to wait a bit to find out WHAT is Liz’s fault, but trust me, it is worth it! As we continued north, I remembered from the past a friend who, I thot, lived in Roseburg, Or. Roseburg was right at the 4-hour point; so

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(Heard it Thru )The Grapevine…

May 8, 2019

Click Here for a SOBERING Thot for the day… Our first task in California was to trans-navigate the LA area. The GPS took us around the bulk of it, on the 210 thru Pasadena. But eventually, all roads north lead to the notorious I5 “Grapevine.” This road winds through the hills North of LA, and

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California Here We Come [Sucker]

April 19, 2019

Our Bluebird Musical horn plays that song [I added “Sucker”] , along with 31 others including RV WHERE YET’s Theme Song: Roll Out The Barrel… .. Leaving Phoenix we had about half a tank of diesel. In that situation, I like to check GAS BUDDY to see if there are RADICAL price differences if we

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Almost Texans…

April 19, 2019

We returned to Weatherford Texas, where we discovered that Max Hendrix had NOT sold the bus, though he claimed the neighbors were interested. Not so interested, apparently, that the police were summoned. While at the Max-cave, I completed the installation of our new BARBEQUE on a sliding shelf. Our previous unit, propane-fired, had been stuffed

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RANDOM THOUGHTS!

April 8, 2019

Thought for the Day (Click me!) My Dad’s 90th Birthday celebration in Minneapolis was SPECTACULAR. Celebrating a life well-lived, and far from done. There was a bit of nostalgia, some well-meaning trash-talking and general festivity at a brunch hosted magnificently by Dad’s partner, Helen. Not much debauchery, though. The video here will probably embarrass him

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Texas-sized Hospitality

March 19, 2019

So, we arrived at Weatherford and Chez Hendrix having passed through another line of impressive storms.  In years past, we always watched on TV Weather the Bright Yellow and RED storms that seem to sweep across Texas, Oklahoma and such places every spring. It is a whole ‘nother thing to drive thru them!  “Passed Thru”

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Another first! (At least, that’s the story I told Liz!)

March 19, 2019

Our travels, seemingly random, are not always so. For the last couple weeks we have been pointing RV WHERE YET towards friends in the center. “Center” means pretty much the geographic center of the USA — Northeastern Oklahoma and Northwestern Arkansas. Center does NOT mean necessarily politically…friends can be all over the spectrum, but FRIENDS

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Weather (or not)

March 8, 2019

Our “plans” are definitely subject to the winds and whims of the weather. We had the idea to travel northwards a bit to see old friends Rhonda and Randy Dietz in far-Northwestern Arkansas, then Lynn and Dave Gray in far North-eastern Oklahoma. We had some days to spare and diesel in the tank, so why

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On a Roll (while Rollin’ on the River…)

March 3, 2019

First, I guess I am on a roll…please indulge me for ONE MORE Personal post.. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my bride, partner-in-crime, conscience, dance-lead, muse, Secretary of the Treasury, main-squeeze (and alternate squeeze). I am speaking more about our lives together (28 years, now on February 23rd), but also this traveling-thing we are doing at present.

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Ray Harris is 90! — 25 March 2019

February 22, 2019

So, one of the things that we appreciate when we are on the road is time. Time to consider the monumental events occurring in the world around us.  NO,  this is not another political post (I promised NO MORE of those).  This is about My Dad’s Birthday; and I posted it here so others can appreciate and

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There are GREAT people in the world…

February 22, 2019

Our travels by RV have revealed something we hoped for and suspected MIGHT exist, but which continues to surprise and delight. That is that the country (actually, the world!) is populated by mostly really great people. This despite varying political, religious and social beliefs. I thought I would balance my recent political post, not to

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2019 “Planning” (Which we try NEVER to do!)

February 14, 2019

We have some VERY FUN (and aggressive!) travel goals for 2019… As we did last year,  we have developed a post to let everyone know where we are pointed and approximately when.  This is so we can have the opportunity for meetings with friends.  We figure you may not LIVE in New Mexico or Oregon

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The Great Mexican Burrito Quest

February 11, 2019

After our Dry Camping experience in Quartzsite, we followed a bunch of new Bluebirdbrain friends to Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco) Mexico.  If you are curious, though,  here is a clip of what 70 Bluebirds in the Desert look like (Thanks Shane Fideli for the Drone Video) This is a sleepy resort town that is still

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My ONE (AND ONLY?) Political Post…

January 29, 2019

If you aren’t in the mood for an old-fashioned political discussion, please stop now – we want you NOT to be mad at us and hope you will keep following our adventure.  I have avoided doing this for over 2 years. But the last 30 days have been particularly ugly and partisan and my tongue

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What happens in Quartzsite STAYS in Quartzsite

January 29, 2019

Well, Liz and I successfully survived our first “dry camping” experience at the Bluebird Quartzsite Rally (more on the rally later). First, to explain that “dry” descriptor to many of our non-RV friends, who might think we just spent 2 weeks without alcohol (???!!!). THAT could not be further from the truth! There were plenty

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Friends and other Weirdness

January 14, 2019

Leaving NOLA, our first stop was Houston, Tx. Here our plan was to visit Barbara and Jacob Leon for a meal and conversation. We met the Leons at conferences over the years, mostly overseas. Every time we think of them, we remember a very humorous dinner in Rome involving a very gregarious waiter/con artist who

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2 Weeks, AD ( After-Daphne) – Biblical Floods and EVACUATION

January 14, 2019

Well, Liz returned from New Jersey, and we were determined to do NOLA right. That was to begin with a visit to the WWII Museum and/or the French Quarter (weather dependent). And speaking of weather, that brings me to the particular FIRST we have experienced this week, which we hope never to repeat. It rained

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We won’t be “Ringing out the Old…” We live in it!

December 30, 2018

Our 2018 travel season has ended with a ritual we have come to appreciate: An annual visit to our friends at Lazzari Truck Service in Daphne Alabama! You may recall from the pages of this blog that these guys took care of us when we broke an airbag way back in 2016 – nearly our

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More Hospitality…It Takes a Village to Save us from Ourselves

December 29, 2018

We left the Lake Wales/Tampa Area in a caravan, since the new car could not yet be attached to the bus. Our next stop was Beverly Hills (Fl), where friends Randy and Sonia Shrimplin live (right next to the Drysdales, according to Randy 😉 ) . We met the Shrimplins at a couple rallies this

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Hit-and-Run Chicago

December 5, 2018

Our Thanksgiving trip north was a three-legged extravaganza.  Minneapolis was in the midst of its usual transformation into a Winter Wonderland… This was followed by a week and a half in Chicago, and then a return to Tampa.  The Chicago leg was spent doing things that can ONLY be done in Chicago, including: seeing the

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HAIR ON FIRE Emergency…

December 3, 2018

…No, Really! Liz and I, first and foremost, hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving holiday, and wish everyone the best for the remaining holidays and festive times of the year. Thanksgiving is really our favorite holiday of all…there are no real or percieved societal imperatives to buy anything for anyone, give presents, send cards, dress

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We Meet the NICEST People…

November 20, 2018

Our time in Florida, after leaving Syd and Vic, continued with a visit to new friends, Bob and Nancy Weaver. We met the Weavers only briefly before – at the Bluebird Rally we attended in Cape Cod a month or so ago. At that rally, the Weavers offered a place in their driveway where we

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End of an Era…

November 19, 2018

In previous posts we described a change we were planning in our lifestyle. Specifically, the Clown Car has reached the end of its usefulness for us. Not that it has not been reliable and effective for the purpose, which is to make people laugh as I unwind myself from the driver’s seat.  Seriously, it HAS

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Another first…

November 1, 2018

Thot for the day (click me) I don’t want to say we are getting immune to all the strangeness we encounter, but I can say almost nothing surprises us anymore. Because “Surprise” would imply that we have expectations, which we do not. Expectations lead to disappointment – and surprise!!!! However, we just stayed at one

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DOWNRIGHT PAINFUL

November 1, 2018

The Wanderlodge Owners Group (WOG) Rally is probably our favorite (well at least MY favorite) because of all the mechanics in attendance and all the mechanicals discussed. The guys at this rally (and some gals, too!) have been under buses for many years – some are serial bus owners. Some are even members of the

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A Sobering Experience…

October 20, 2018

As mentioned previously,  several Bluebird Friends were in Michael’s (Harms) way.  We had time, flexibility and a self-contained dwelling unit,  so we planned to head south to pitch in at Randy and Carol Dupree’s place.  According to Facebook,  at least 6 coaches were parked on their street, and all of their occupants were clearing trees,

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Tennessee Welcomes the Yankees

October 20, 2018

Our next rally commenced in Sevierville,TN, long since “advanced” from the days when Dolly Parton grew up in the Holler near there. The “Holler” has been replaced by Dollywood Theme Park, Dollywood Splash Water Park, Dollywood Dreamwood Resort, Dollywood Smokey Mountain Cabins, the Dolly Parton Stampede Dinner Theater and Restaurant and by the Dolly Parton

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Not the BEST way to start the day…

October 9, 2018

Leaving Cape Cod for point south and our next rally turned into quite an adventure. Our next Rally was at Williamsburg, VA…a destination WAY TOO FAR to reach from Cape Cod without at least 2 stops. So, first, we planned to stop in first in New Jersey to visit Liz’s sister. We perused the map

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Rally, Rally, Rally…

October 9, 2018

Our busy (?) rally schedule has started. The first one was on Cape Cod, where there was a gathering of Vintage Bluebirds – a club for Bluebird Wanderlodge RVs that are older than 10 years. Which is basically ANY Bluebird Wanderlodge, since they haven’t built one since 2008. This rally was organized by a fellow

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Ice Cream and Ex-Magnolia

September 23, 2018

  Once we arrived at Wompatuk, we connected with the MacQuarries. I have not seen Barry for a few years. We’ve both changed jobs since the last conference we hosted and coordinated together…Barry to a new firm and me, of course, to NO firm. We’re both pretty happy with the change – I was even

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There’s s.o.l and then there’s S.O.L!!!

September 23, 2018

  As we wind our way south from our Canadian Extravaganza, we are finding ourselves with a new challenge, unfamiliar to midwesterners. HURRICANE WATCHING. We will be transiting the east coast through September and October, ultimately ending up in South Georgia for our final scheduled rally this year. That takes us thru areas that either

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Rare and More Rare. And not even discussing Steak!

September 14, 2018

After troubleshooting the CC issue,  we were faced with a couple weeks of uncommitted time before we needed to be on Cape Cod.  Even allowing for, possibly, a stop in Boston for CC Repairs.  What to do…. We decided to add a couple more states to our resume…New Hampshire and Vermont.  No rush to reach

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Bah HahBah – NOT!

September 11, 2018

We moved onwards from the Bar Harbor Area, wandering gradually southwards. Next stop in Thomaston, Maine. This is in the area of Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Bath, Freeport, etc. And, tho we only drove a couple hours to get here from BH, it is a WORLD AWAY. Look, I get it…a BUNCH of people wrote that

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Back in the US, Back in the US, Back in the US-eh

August 31, 2018

One Last Thot as we leave Canada for 2018 We proceeded from Fundy towards and then across the US border on Canadian, then US Highway 1. Uneventfully, though the border agent DID confiscate our oranges. As always, I had a list of liquor prepared, which he did not even ask for. But then, he asked

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An Angel in Halifax Clothing!

August 31, 2018

Still with us?  OK,  I’ll finish the “Angel” story.  But first… No,  that would be cruel.  I did want to talk a bit about our next (and last) stop in Canada:  Fundy National Park; but first, the angel… No, First a Thot for Today… Now,  for the Angel.  The first morning at the campground in

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Halifax (After a Newfie Last Hurrah)

August 20, 2018

We finished our run in NewfoundLAND and Gros Morne with some local social events. First, we went to a highly-regarded family restaurant for some Newfie Delicacies. We had Fish and Brewis, Cod Tongue and the eponymous MOOSE BURGER with Newfie-style fries. Where to start in ‘splaining those! Fish and Brewis is Salt Cod (the old-fashioned

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Gros Morne World Heritage…

August 19, 2018

Our last full-fledged stop on Newfoundland was the Gros Morne National Park. Many people have recommended this place to us, and we understood why from the first minute we were there. The park reflects a wide variety of ecosystems within a relatively small area. It is geologically interesting and diverse, not to mention drop dead

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Vikings: the “Original” (European) Newfies…

August 8, 2018

And we are proud to now call ourselves one! (Newfie, that is…certainly NOT Vikings) Our last couple of days at Griquet were spent touring the local area and visiting with friends. New friends. NEWFIE FRIENDS. Fellow Newfies! And, FINALLY, we did see Moose. We spent some time at the Viking exhibit at the l’Anse aux

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Whales, and a Whale of a good time!

August 8, 2018

  Subtitle:  How we fill our days when we wake up with absolutely NOTHING on the schedule… Since we had arrived at our spot near l’Anse aux Meadows mid-afternoon, we thought we’d drive around a bit…see Whadda y’at. That is Newfoundland for “What’s up” or “What are you up to.” We planned from the start

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Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone. WE SCORED SOME MOOSE!

August 4, 2018

We moved on westward from Gander, making it to a place called “Deer Lake,” where there was a very nice RV park. The owner came by in his pickup truck and admired our Bus. When he found out we were from Chicago, he told us he went to “RV PARK SCHOOL” in Wheeling, West Virginia

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Boggy Boreal Forest and Ridiculous Birds

August 3, 2018

After leaving St. John’s we began a rather aimless wandering around the Newfoundland countryside.  Which is a BEAUTIFUL PLACE, in a very North-woods, Boreal Forest-Boggy sort of way. By that I mean LOTS and LOTS of little ponds and lots of stunted Evergreen Trees.  Very few people.  Very VERY many mosquitos.  Our first day of

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Amazing NewfoundLAND!!!!

July 30, 2018

First, let me say that St. John ROCKS. What a great town, with so much to do and recommend it. Maybe a little off the beaten track, but ABSOLUTELY worth the effort!  More on that in a bit.  And it is pronounced “New-Found-LAND” with emphasis on the “LAND.”  I kept wanting to say “Newfundlund” and

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Cape Breton Island, and Points East!

July 29, 2018

Getting to Cape Breton was an easy and VERY SCENIC drive. Nova Scotia is an AWESOME place. Small towns. Coastal Vistas. Pine Forests. Really great for a slow drive with no place to be in particular. But, we DID have a place to be: The Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which sits like a bullseye

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Do Things Really Happen for a Reason…

July 18, 2018

Up until retiring  I would have answered, “Yes, things DO happen for a DEFINITE reason.” Because when computers screw up,  “The reason” that “thing” happens can often be found sitting at the keyboard!!   And unscrambling that relationship had been my profession.     But that is not what this post is about.   Don’t worry,  I am

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CFAs, heading east to PEI!

July 18, 2018

  Our Canadian Expedition has continued in force! We spent a couple nights in a beach town called Shediac in New Brunswick. Our RV spot was a municipal park – very nice facility for cheap!. The town itself is fairly flat and we got the bikes down and used them to get around. Never even

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Roaming SPECTACULAR Québec

July 8, 2018

Heading eastward, we had a mixed bag of days where we have picked spots and made reservations interspersed with stretches where we have nothing planned. Our eventual destination will be Prince Edward Island, off the coast of New Brunswick/Nova Scotia. Along the way, our various Canadian friends strongly recommended that we visit the Gaspé peninsula.

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Enjoying Québec and Québécois

July 8, 2018

  Our exit from Ottawa and travel to the area north of Montreal was uneventful. Roads: Good. Traffic: Moderate. Weather: hot and expected to be WAY HOT. Campground: BOOKED in Laurentien Mountain cottage country north of Montreal. Canada Day Festivities: Of course! Friends Joe and Shelly Havas: Apparently still friends and still willing to receive

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Hospitality in A Special Place in Hell

July 2, 2018

From NOTL, the McDowell and Harris nomad nation broke camp and headed for Ottawa,  where longtime friends  Fidele and Blair Davidson reside.    Too far to make it in one day,  we settled on a little town called “Cobourg” on Lake Ontario.  Mike and Fran selected an RV Park in the Marina right on the Lakefront

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Off the Rails More Than on Them

July 2, 2018

Thot for the day if you just turned 60…(click here) Our scheduled appointment with destiny and McDowell was intended for the Jordan Valley Campground, near Niagara on the Lake in Ontario. We were planning to get to the campground on the 20th; they were to arrive 21 June (having just sold their house, so now

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TOTUS Notwithstanding, Apply for POW Status?

June 23, 2018

  Dinner with Les Aidelbaum was all we thought it would be…excellent food, beer, Ice Cream and company.  Liz spent  little time verifying that Steve was concerned about the Bus’ weight vs. its occupants…I think Steve might have, for a moment, thought she was really upset just as he might have thought we were planning

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Waiting out the Twitter storm at Port Huron

June 23, 2018

Our exit from Detroit was uneventful.  Straight up I-94 towards Port Huron and our ultimate entrance into Canada.  We decided to actually STOP in Port Huron for a few days, unlike our last time thru (From Canada to USA last summer, we just waved as we passed thru).  And, we are QUITE GLAD we did!!

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Motown on the Rise? Anyway, On the Itinerary!

June 13, 2018

After Shipshewana we had about ten days available to us before our next “planned” destination.  THAT would be Niagara on the Lake, where we are to meet friends Mike and Fran McDowell.  We are a little worried that before then,  the USA may be at war with Canada.  Friend Steve Aidelbaum from Toronto said it

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Arrive Old(ish)…Leave Teenagers!

June 13, 2018

Our first “formal” stop on the way to nowhere/everywhere this summer was a Bluebirds Rally in Shipshewana, Indiana,  in the heart of Amish AND RV country.   A “Rally” is a bit like all the meetings and conventions Liz and I attended over the years…50% business and 50% social.    In our new existence, the

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Magic Mushroom Muscoda

May 27, 2018

Thought for the Day (any day, really!) CLICK HERE After Minneapolis (and Mom’s Move), we needed a VACATION.    We have been reminded,  if one is not “working” then technically it is LIFE,  not a vacation.  I would argue that helping a parent relocate IS work,  and a vacation is just what was needed!  So,

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Family Time

May 26, 2018

There has been a bit of Radio Silence since Memphis.  Part of that surely has to do with the cultural and personal impact felt and noticed following our visit to Graceland.  I mean,  it is hard to recover from such an event! But recover we have.  First with a couple weeks of family stuff.  My

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Graceland and BBQ: All that, and more!

May 5, 2018

I am not really sure how to do full justice to the monument that is Graceland.  Elvis was larger than life in many ways…not all of them, shall we say, “Smooth and Sophisticated.”  And Graceland really puts on a pedestal all of that extraneous “stuff” that filled in the musical legend.  And the presentation is

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Memphis: Chicago’s Mini-Me?

May 5, 2018

 We had about 4 “extra” days between Little Rock and St. Louis. What to do.  Where to go.   MEMPHIS!  Home of BBQ, Elvis, the Blues and Fedex.       The last time I was in Memphis I was on a pilgrimage to Mardi Gras in about 1981.  Then, we stopped in Memphis long enough

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Little Rock and the Mothership!

April 30, 2018

  While we were in Vian,  I noticed thru Facebook that friends Rhonda and Randy Dietz were home and in-country.  Home being Bella Vista, Arkansas…just a 2 hour drive from Vian.   Long before our swing thru Vian we had communicated about swinging by for a visit,  but we were under the impression that they were

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Vian, Oklahoma (Yes, indeed, You CAN go back!)

April 29, 2018

  Just kidding,  of course.  Dear friends Lynn and David Gray (also former members of Town Club – where I have stepped on Lynn’s toes at more than once dance…)  live on a beautiful (if somewhat remote) ranch.  Even if Vian didn’t sit virtually in the middle of the USA both north-and-south AND east-and-west (so, 

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Spicewood Hospitality and Hydraulics

April 20, 2018

After the rally, we moved a mere 20 miles down the road to visit friends Charlie and Carol Mitchell at their home in Spicewood. They live on 2 acres on a hill. In fact the next hill from where Willie Nelson bases himself when not “on the road again.”  We met the Mitchells and their

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West Texas SHOULD be a Very short Blog Post

April 20, 2018

  Even though it is LARGE and LONG,  there is very little  (“[no]Thing!”)  to speak of in West Texas.  Problem is,  we have this rule about driving 4 hours a day only… So we had to make at least a couple of stops before reaching our Rally Point near Austin.   The first stop was

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Our Lifestyle is a Mystery to Most…

April 14, 2018

    verb: rant; 3rd person present: rants; past tense: ranted; past participle: ranted; gerund or present participle: ranting; speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way.  “he was still ranting on about the unfairness of it all”   synonyms: fulminate, go on, hold forth, vociferate, sound off, spout, pontificate, bluster, declaim;  I guess this

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Tucson: An Over- (and Under-) Whelming Blue Dot!

April 8, 2018

When we passed thru Tucson last winter (January) we spent only a couple days. We had the distinct feeling that we were not there at the best time…it RAINED every day.  Not the best circumstance to appreciate the desert!  So this time we chose to spend almost a week,  and had a full list of

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Near-Death Experience

April 1, 2018

Disaster nearly struck as we were entering the outskirts of Phoenix.  Driving along a major 3-lane road;  not a highway (stoplights) but a major thoroughfare.  At one intersection,  the driver of a small car in front of me decided he needed to STOP for the just-yellow light.    Seriously,  just yellow.  You (that is the global

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(No) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

March 30, 2018

Well, we arrived in, and escaped from Las Vegas successfully. But as with all of our adventures, not without drama. Our first step upon arrival was to be delivered to the bus from the airport by our friend, Krystal. She works as a security guard at the RV Park, and moonlights as a driver for

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Our 2018 Plans…

March 16, 2018

“Plan” is a four letter word, and it something we try not to do too much or too carefully… But, when I started to put this post and an associated map (click here, or see below) together, I realized it LOOKS like we have done QUITE A LOT of planning for the two of us, 

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Tabula Rasa

March 1, 2018

\ˌta-byə-ˌlaˈrä-ˌza, \ 1 : the mind in its hypothetical primary blank or empty state before receiving outside impressions. 2 : something existing in its original pristine state. After our very successful* 2017, and a complete break down-under (not to be confused with  “break-down”) from bus travel, we are ready to embark on 2018. *Successful:  \

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Should EVERYONE spend their Anniversary in Tasmania?…

February 25, 2018

Our last couple days in Tassie were in Hobart.  One of these was our Anniversary (#27).  It has been something of a tradition,  on our anniversary,  to do several things: To enjoy it in a faraway place To wish friend and former partner Steve Sawatski happy B-Day (since Feb 23 is that,  as well) To

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Getting our “Quirk” On

February 25, 2018

After a few days in most places,  the “quirk” comes out.  In the old days (aka the 60’s,  or Haight Asbury today) this might be called letting the Freak Flag fly.  Or maybe the “Quirk” is  always there but we need to absorb the rhythm of a place before it becomes apparent.  In any case, 

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Seafood, Roadkill and the Brotherhood of Broken Buses

February 20, 2018

Our last several days in Tassie included quite a bit more travel.  Not especially far,  because Tassie is not that big.  Just travel in the sense that after a day of wandering,  we stopped at new places instead of returning to Launceston.   Our first next stop was in a small town on the East coast

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Wandering Around the End of the World

February 20, 2018

Quite a powerful storm system went thru Tasmania.  It was predicted,  and we adjusted our hiking trip to Cradle Mountain accordingly.  Good thing,  too.  We learned from some backpackers as we hiked that the Snow Line was expected at 1,300 meters…which was the BASE of our hike.   Instead,  we waited out the storm at our

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Tasmania – Far-and-Away-Fascinating

February 13, 2018

Thot for the Day (Click Here) We have a bit of a quandry as we make our way to Tasmania.  We have been told many times that “2 weeks is plenty” for touring and experiencing.  Thus,  we organized our visit around this.   HOWEVER,  every Aussie we talk to sez something like, “Oooh.  You are going

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Melbourne Wind-up

February 13, 2018

We met friends/Stalkers Nancy and Sid shortly after they arrived at their hotel.  Our mission was to help them stay awake until early evening on their first day here because crashing once and solidly helps mitigate jetlag’s effect on subsequent days.  So,  we walked, Trammed, ate,  drank plenty of coffee,  had Gelato,  etc.  At the

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Speaking of Barby, and of Mumbling…

February 5, 2018

Norman’s friend Sarah ‘splained the Aussie Language for us.  “All words are shortened as much as possible,  then “Y” (or “ie”) is added to the end.“ SO,  Barbeque==Barby.  Breakfast==Breky.  Laptop==Lappy.  Tasmania==Tassie.  Australian==Aussie.  And my favorite:  Sparky,  which means “Electrician.” OK,  it’s ENGLISH (well,  Strayne, anyway) so rules have exceptions!   Here is the video, courtesy of

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Do You Believe in Coincidence?

February 4, 2018

In a previous post, I may have disclosed that we are being stalked down-under by friends from Magnolia Street in Chicago.  Nancy and Syd “just happen” to be in Melbourne and then in Tasmania at the same cosmic moment(s) as Los Harris.   Maybe they aren’t actually stalking us,  but you can see why we

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Onwards and Downwards

January 29, 2018

We chose the inland route to travel to Melbourne, which brought us to a delightful little town recommended by both hosts…Beechworth.  Not much here,  really,  other than everything one needs.  A Brewery with excellent Pizza.  A homemade Ice cream AND a Gelato place. An excellent Bakery.  A friendly AirBNB and time to walk.   After a

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Almost not a Tourist…

January 29, 2018

As we continue our stay in Sydney, we are starting to do things that you might not get to if you had only the “usual” time available – it’s what’s great about “retired” travel vs. vacation travel. For example, we took a ferry to Bondi (been there and done that before). Then we walked from

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Sydney Charms

January 20, 2018

Our stay in Sydney commenced when friend Peter Campbell met us at the apartment he had arranged for us. We knew this was located at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli from advance discussions with Peter. What we did not fully understand was that this was to be a quaint apartment in an old

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New Zealand – Exit Stage Left

January 20, 2018

Well, the day the Wilsons have been looking forward to finally arrived! The Harrises Left!!! (The whooshing sound you may have heard and may have been reported on the local Cyclone-warning network was their Collective sigh of utter relief). The washed-out roads were still washed out, but Kevin was DETERMINED to ensure our exit. There

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Kiwification

January 10, 2018

Can’t Escape Politics (Click Here) As mentioned previously, we cannot be on a “vacation” since we are not working. This is just our life, now. SO, “Kiwification” should not be confused with “Kiwi Vacation.” Instead it concerns how we are becoming embedded at the least, and incorporated in some ways into Kiwi Culture. There are

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Full-Monty Kiwi Hospitality

December 31, 2017

Not a lot to be done in Matarangi…which is perfect! Festivities began with a swim in the ocean – repeated each day.  As you might imagine,  Cocktail Hour is more than one hour, and more than a little critical to hospitality! Christmas Dinner with Wilson’s and assorted relatives and neighbors. This is a generally Pot-luck

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Radio Harris is Back on the Air!

December 31, 2017

We hope you have enjoyed your little “vacation” from our missives… After a couple of weeks in Chicago, during which we spent altogether too much time with dentists and not enough time with friends, we departed for our Down-under adventure. Of course, the first task was getting there…an aviation marathon. Even though we were in

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To Vegas…”Winter” Wonderland!

November 20, 2017

Our stay in the bay area included lots of fun stuff. These last couple of Santa Cruz Pics wrap up that phase of our adventure. On the way out of town, we discovered (and therefore acquired t-shirts reflecting) for SURE the BEST Collegiate Logo ever! The UC Santa Cruz  BANANA SLUGS. (Go Slugs!). But all

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The Bay Area — not like ANYWHERE ELSE.

November 10, 2017

We programmed several stops into our itinerary throughout the Bay Area. All of these for the purpose of visiting friends. So over the course of 2 weeks, we stayed in Marin County, Walnut Creek, San Mateo and Santa Cruz. Each of these spots had a unique charm unrelated to the friends located nearby. First, in

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Stuff Happens…

November 10, 2017

So, just after my post assuring everyone that we do not spend ALL our time making repairs…. As I write this, We are Stranded on the roadside! Stranded Right next to the beach! And, we have a hotel with us. WHAT A COINCIDENCE!!!! Here is what happened:  Leaving heading south from Crescent City, CA. on

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Hunkering Down!

October 25, 2017

As we worked our way south, we headed over to the Oregon coast. First stop: Florence, Oregon. Our expectation was to spend a couple of days there…a few quaint shops, some good restaurants and Dunes along the ocean for walking. The universe had a different plan for us. Almost from the moment we checked in,

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Is A Vintage Bus really an Online Dating Service?!

October 25, 2017

Some of you may be getting the wrong idea about the pace and focus of our lives in retirement. It may seem that we spend our days making repairs to the bus, with only occasional interruptions of reliability (and sightseeing and enjoying life on the road). You would be right to come to this conclusion

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An Appointment with Howard Hughes’ Quirkiness

October 21, 2017

We had about 10 days to get from Olympia to San Francisco, so some stops were in order. The first was in a town called McMinnville, Oregon. Peter had mentioned that Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” now lives there at the Evergreen Aerospace Museum, and that sounded cool. This was a one-off monster, built entirely from

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Sorting Out Some “Vintage-ness”

October 21, 2017

As with most of the BB issues we have faced, this one was easily rectified with Pat’s (a willing and expert host’s) assistance and more than a bit of wrenching. But also as usual, the fan problem looked simple but turned out NOT!   I had not fully under-stood how to tighten the belt –

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Victoria and the Terrorist Pepper

October 17, 2017

The drive back to Victoria was relatively uneventful. Same Twists, turns, narrowness, steepness and potholes as the outbound leg. A little less traffic, though, (it is after Thanksgiving), which is not a big deal for us, but it is good for international relations to have a shorter line of cars stuck behind us on the

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Tofino-time (with a little “UKEE” for good measure)

October 17, 2017

Our days in Tofino passed peacefully and relaxingly in zen-like calm. Wind was calm, too, and it hardly rained. Tofino “natives” (i.e. those with actual Canadian Passports) say this is rare. We took advantage of both, though. The RV park has free Starbucks Coffee in the morning…perfect for a walk on MacKenzie Beach just yards

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To Courtenay, Tofino and Canada’s Nessie?

October 9, 2017

Thought for the Day (Click here) Back to normal after our dose of Unfriendly Canadians, we were again absolutely smothered with Canadian Generosity.  We had a leaky tire (AGAIN) on the Clown Car. Not too hard to understand why: When we are towing the CC, it is hard to dodge potholes. And some that hardly

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Up Island

October 9, 2017

Thought for the day (Click Here) We left the Chandlers in Oak Bay, grateful in the extreme for having such wonderful and generous friends. They, I am sure, were also grateful — to have the bus out of their yard!! So far they have not retracted their invite to stay again before we leave back

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Who Knew the Bus Could FLOAT!

September 30, 2017

Our next adventure involved putting the bus on the ferry, leaving from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. First we had to find the terminal. Then find the reservation line. Then pay the fare. Then successfully navigate the ferry ramp without dragging the hitch or other bus-parts. Eventually, we needed to navigate the ramp

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Vancouver and Cultural Oddities Observed Here and Elsewhere

September 30, 2017

Thought for the day (Click here) So, we are learning about unwritten cultural obligations, rules and traditions. For example, it appears to be an unwritten law that guests to the Pacific Northwest WILL BE SERVED SALMON, and if possible BBQ Salmon (if it’s not raining too hard). Now, we have nothing against Salmon…love it in

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Border Crossing No. Deaux. And a Bus Issue of my own deauxing…

September 18, 2017

Thought for the day (Click here) We stopped in Ferndale, Wa. for the night to take care of a few things before we crossed the border. One “thing” was to flush the Black Water tank. To do this, my plan was to fill the tank with clean water a couple of times and let it

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(Slowly) Traversing the Cascades

September 16, 2017

Thought for the Day (Click here) Leaving Idaho, we selected a northerly, and reputedly most scenic route: the Northern part of the Cascade Loop Highway. To get to this, we first stopped at Clearwater Canyon Winery in Lewiston, Id. Dick is a charter member of their Wine Club, and they treated us very well! Then

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Idaho Famous Potatoes, Part Deaux

September 13, 2017

So what else can I say about Idaho? Besides the obvious potato fixation, there is a lot to recommend a visit. The Potato thing does become a bit hilarious at times. I mean even beyond the Idaho License plate slogan, “Famous Potatoes.”   For example, an 18-wheel truck transporting a 40-foot fiberglass potato. The driver

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Idaho Famous Potatoes

September 13, 2017

Chuckle for the day One of our “Targets” in this western swing is a visit to friends Dick and Tyra Stubbs. Though they live in Boise, the whole state was offered up to us with a set of tour guides whose sarcasm and politics match ours. We began our sojourn in Idaho Falls. There we

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Saving the Best for First

September 3, 2017

Thought for the Day – Click Here Yellowstone was the first of the USA’s National Parks. A bold experiment by foresightful men. Actually, at the time it was creation of a playground for the exceedingly wealthy. These were the only folks who could afford to travel to such a remote and inaccessible place until Henry

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Cowboys and Bus Mechanics

August 28, 2017

Click here for the Thought Of The Day… Leaving Casper, we headed towards the Tetons and our appointment with George, the Bluebird’s Previous owner. We wanted to tell him how much we were enjoying the bus…that it was proving reliable and comfortable. Let him know his generosity is in no small part responsible for the

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Our Eclipse-Destiny

August 23, 2017

We made it to Casper and the fairgrounds, where the Bluebird Rally was situated. Ultimately, there were 88 Bluebirds of all types and generations there. I think ours was the oldest…and the shortest. The latter caused us to be “relegated” to an area behind the livestock barns. Only 5 “short” spots there. Our first thought

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Wandering not-quite-aimlessly

August 23, 2017

On the way to our Eclipse-destiny, we made several significant stops. First, Ogallala, Nebraska. There we visited the Kingsley Dam, which my grandfather help to construct in the 1930’s. My father tells tales of youth there, including attending a one-room school in about 1939. Mom tells tales of Dad’s all-over-sunburn. OUCH. Anyway, at the Visitor’s

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(Continuing) Westward-ho

August 11, 2017

From Monroe we spent a few days in Minneapolis. There, we visited family, and helped Mom with some stuff. Helping Mom involved mostly moving furniture and re-jiggering her tech. She moved to a senior community which was EXACTLY across the parking lot from a major Computer and electronics retailer. Microcenter’s manager gave us permission to

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Home vs. Home-Away-From-Home…

August 11, 2017

  Our “Home away from Home” has become our home. So that means our home in Chicago is our ???    We need a name; help us out!     Well, for sure it is where we have a lot of friends…and we swung thru to enjoy our Block Party with many. This included parking

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Trono (AKA Nirvana)

July 25, 2017

A couple of days of relax-time in Toronto. Our campground is quite near Toronto and very nearly nirvana. Well, near the Toronto airport, anyway, where there are no doubt several flites a day to Nirvana. And a fairly active freight-train track. But after several days in Northern Ontario, we are pretty damn ready for some

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Northern Ontario

July 23, 2017

We drove north for awhile. Quite a while, actually. Seemed like the North Pole might be just beyond the next rise. Never mind that the GPS said our maximum northern progression was 48.94935 Degrees north latitude…which is NOT EVEN NORTH OF THE CANADIAN BORDER for most of its length. Still, it took us 2 days

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Back to the Future…

July 15, 2017

So for the better part of 30 years I traveled the world to attend and often speak at meetings of JHI, an International Association of Independent Accounting and Management Consulting firms. In 2017, their Region of the Americas Conference was scheduled to be in Montreal. With many friends attending, we planned to be there “uninvited,”

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I know you have been on the edge of your seat…

July 15, 2017

…Waiting to hear about our border crossing. Were there rubber hoses? What happened to the Farm-brew…and what about the SINGLE MALT? Were they arrested and sent to the Canadian equivalent of Guantanamo (though I doubt there is a Canadian version of Guantanamo)?  Inquiring minds want to know!! Well, I am happy to report that the

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Onwards and Northwards to Montreal

July 10, 2017

We left Chautauqua in the direction of Montreal. The first thing that strikes us…CANADA IS A BIG PLACE. Of course, we knew this, but not the specifics when converted to Optimum-Bus-Driving-Distances. We had two longer-than desired driving days to get to our first stop in Canada. (And, when we later head onwards to Northern Ontario,

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The Chautauqua Institution

July 10, 2017

The Chautauqua Institution was a VERY interesting experience and place. The Institution itself was initially created as a place to teach Sunday School teachers, so its origins are faith-based, for sure. But, layered onto that are its conscious mutation into a place for intellectual growth on many levels. The National Geographic-themed week we attended was

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(Non-snob) Wine Country

July 5, 2017

First Winery: Halliday’s on Lake Milton.  Lake Milton is a reservoir, and the Winery is right on the shore between the water and a Golf Course.  They had a very nice tasting room,  with cheese and meat trays and flatbreads that complement their wines.  They also had a couple local beers one from Columbus and

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Preparing for a Summer on the Road

July 5, 2017

So,  after Amish Country,  we stopped in Columbus,  Ohio where there is a company called Bus Services, Inc.  This company services all kinds of buses,  including Bluebirds, and was mentioned on the Online Forum that I consult on all things Vintage Bluebird.  Most of their patients are a little more modern, but they said they

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The Air Force Museum and Waffle House

June 24, 2017

We left Amish Berlin in a sort of Bluebird Wanderlodge Caravan…several of us were heading onwards to Dayton, OH.  There we stayed in a KOA for a few days with the intention of visiting the Air Force Museum.  We also continued our new tradition of eating with friends and sitting around after dinner with a

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Amish, Ohio

June 24, 2017

We spent our first week in Amish Country,  which reminds us exactly why we are choosing to travel around the USA in the manner we are.  You would NEVER choose to visit ANY of the places we have been lately if you were looking at a tourist map or planning a 2-week vacation from work. 

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Summer Dreams…

June 14, 2017

We are beginning the next leg of our trip (is it a trip?  Or is it just life…beginning the next leg of our life?) with a few “plans.”  Plans being a very loose term in our vocabulary.  Describing more of a direction and date-range than anything VERY specific. Lots of flexibility in route and stops. 

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Chicago for month…and we survived!

June 14, 2017

Well, we survived a brief visit to Chicago.  Words chosen carefully.  “Visit”  because we frankly feel more at home now in the bus.  At least the first several nights at our apartment in Chicago,  I woke up in the middle of the night with that disoriented feeling of not being sure where the bathroom was.  And,

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Going “Home” (?)

May 23, 2017

Nearly finished with our first crack at “full-time” RVing — heading back to Chicago.  We stopped a couple of times;   Once in Baraboo Wisconsin (Ho-Chunk Casino parking lot) and  also Delavan’s Walmart.  Then we decided to add a stop in East Peoria, IL:  Liz’s nieces, Grace and Caroline Kokkin  were running in the Division II Illinois

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Last “scheduled” stop on the first circuit – Minneapolis

May 23, 2017

Our last destination on the road was Minneapolis,  where my extended family resides. We stayed in a nice campground in a distant suburb.  Which causes me to wonder… Why are there no RV Parks nearby ANY city?  My father,  urban-planner extraordinaire ‘splained me part of the reason:  RVer’s are well known to be undesirable sorts!? 

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Shipshewana Indiana…Lovely and Surprising

May 5, 2017

Our next stop was to see Leon, the Amish A/C guy.  Leon was absolutely all that his reputation lead us to expect.  His shop was very modern.  Yet,  no power.  Batteries only for LED Shop Lites.  When testing stuff in RVs,  he starts a generator to power the RV.  Reading up on the logic of

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And A Quick Detour… 

May 5, 2017

From Niagara,  we move on…heading towards Shipshewana Indiana and an appointment with our favorite Amish Air RV Air Conditioner Specialist.  Actually,  probably the ONLY Amish Air Conditioner guy.  Trying not to drive too many hours each day, we saw a potential stopping point:  Erie, PA.     Arriving in Erie,  we found a campground (Sarah’s Campground, to

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Niagara, Erie and Akron

May 5, 2017

We have REALLY seen some stuff on this trip.  “Home” is starting to mean “wherever we are…”   Following on to the Baseball Hall of Fame,  we headed west  — destination Niagara Falls.  YIKES!!!  I guess there is good and bad everywhere.  The RV place we stayed was on Grand Island – very near the Falls. 

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Following the Erie Canal

April 23, 2017

We are Travelling West towards Indiana and Iowa (for bus mechanics), Minnesota and eventually Chicago for a bit.  We needed some ad hoc things to do along the way…and a couple of really good options presented…  First,  we pointed “RV WHERE YET” to Cooperstown, NY and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  We stayed 2 nights

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New York State of Mind

April 23, 2017

The rule has not been clearly and unambiguously articulated,  but it is a RULE nonetheless.  Ben Franklin said, “Guests, and fish, smell after 3 days.”  We try not to smell.  But after staying with the Wilners in Maryland for a week, we stayed with Liz’s sister in Old Tappan, NJ for SEVEN (7) nights!!   As

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The Jersey Shore (B4 the Season!)

April 12, 2017

The weather in Cape May was ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR, so we went bike riding for miles every day as a result.   The area around Cape May offered a laid-back atmosphere (which may be because it is definitely OFF season) and variety of expected and unexpected attractions for our entertainment.  There are beaches and boardwalks in both

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The Fountain of Youth must be in WashDC

April 11, 2017

I am writing this in Cape May, NJ.  We are here for a few days R&R after we spent a week in Washington DC,  helping my Aunt get a new computer.  Marilee is 104,  and she uses her Mac every day to produce Artwork (she is a professional artist, who gave up bronze and ceramic

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To Washington DC via Gettysburg

April 3, 2017

Our next stop on the adventure was Washington DC.  Main purpose here was to help Aunt Marilee obtain and configure a new computer.   Marilee is 104 years young…and that is totally factual.  She produces fine art on her Mac computer,  which is showing its age (Marilee is NOT showing her age).  We agreed months ago

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Progressing Northward…

March 31, 2017

After friends Barb and Bob left and headed North,  Liz and I spent a couple more days at Tybee Island,  near Savannah.  Our next scheduled event was a Hockey Game in Pittsburgh.  Departing Tybee, and right on the  way   we headed back to Brunswick for another round of festivities at the McNicolls’.  You may recall

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The New Normal! Road-trip Soirees (and a bit of melancholy)

March 22, 2017

We’ve spent the past few days hanging out on the Florida and Georgia Coasts.  WITH AN AWESOME TWIST!!! Our friends,  Barb and Bob White were returning from So. Florida Cruising.  We organized  RV-Parks near Daytona Beach, FLA and Savannah, GA, each of which  had cottages.  We provided pineapple, orange and coconut juice and The Whites

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Center of Florida, Middle of Nowhere

March 18, 2017

Well,  I said we were slowing down.  That is an UNDERSTATEMENT. First we stayed at Oklawaha RV Resort,  which is actually a KOA.  Not far from Ocala and near Ft. McCoy. Which is to say, not much nearby.  Nice uncrowded large campground – so uncrowded that the security guard said to pick any open spot.   

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If Variety is the spice of life…

March 11, 2017

We are having a HELL of a Curry! Just to recap… We have driven almost 9,000 Miles!!!!!  We have burned about 1,100 gallons of diesel.  3 Gallons of Motor oil.  2 pairs of jeans.  I haven’t counted TP rolls,  but you get the gist.  Twice across the Southern States.  The Northern States will have to

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Slow Hand…Mississippi Blues Trail

March 11, 2017

We have “slowed Down” a bit.  Our “schedule” is now more of a guideline.  We have to be in Flagler Beach Florida (near St. Augustine) on 19 March to meet friends Barb and Bob White.  That gives us almost 3 weeks from the time we left Lafayette.  So we decided to use that time to

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Mardi Gras du Krewe Cambre

March 1, 2017

Mardis Gras.  This is a post about 50 shades of.   Having been to MG in New Orleans back just after college (which I barely remember due to encroaching age and the alcohol-fog that seemed to describe the meteorological conditions in 1981),  LC tried to ‘spain the differences we would notice in Lafayette’s version.  “New Orleans

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To Lafayette

February 24, 2017

After leaving Vian, OK we headed towards Lafayette, LA for Mardi Gras. The first night we thought to stop, since we had SO MUCH FUN in Vian, OK, in Vi(vi)an, LA. There was a Walmart. And the Walmart had a Dairy Queen Attached. It LOOKED good. There was a Blackhawks game on (v. the Wild),

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Vian, OK. Pronounced Veyeann…

February 23, 2017

Arriving near Vian,  our instructions from hosts, Dave and Lynn Gray went something like this:  “Your GPS will never get you to us.  So here is what you do…take a right at the (one) stop sign in “Downtown” Vian.  Drive 2 miles and you will see a white pickup truck by a gate…”  Worked perfectly. 

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Bottoming Out…In Sedona!

February 23, 2017

  Well,  it finally happened.  We have bottomed out!  I don’t mean personally, chemically, emotionally, politically.  Well,  maybe politically.  But I am actually referring to the Tow-hitch on the bus.  We found a driveway with too big a dip.  Safety Cables cut through as was the cable that operates the tow car’s lights.    The good

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A Flagstaff Valentine

February 14, 2017

We  stayed in Bullhead City, Az. overnight,  but NOT at the Moose Lodge.  We could have,  but I was worried about the entry to the lot—a very high driveway ramp looked like it would at the very least bottom out the hitch.  Perhaps the Clown Car would actually fly.   So we went just down the road

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Marin-Time

February 14, 2017

Three days spent in Marin country having an AWESOME time with college-friend Mark and his charming wife, Tracy. Despite the rain.  And RAIN IT MOST CERTAINLY DID.  Enough to affect in some small or not so small way everything we did.  Day 1: We drove up to Sonoma Country for some Wine Tasting.  The normal

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Half Moon Bay

February 8, 2017

Spending several days in Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco. This is more like we imagined our travels.  Up until now,  we have been pretty actively moving.  At HMB,  we have been pretty actively relaxing!   Our friends Mike and Fran McDowell counselled us on this. When full-time RVing,  don’t think like you are

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Lake Marin (and “PRB”)

February 8, 2017

Before you look it up,  there is NO LAKE MARIN.  Just a reference to our RV park, which became a lake after torrential (and nearly perpetual) rain.  The bus is high and dry,  but there is a lake at the entrance. Not too worried about getting the bus out (very high clearance), but we may

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Half Moon Bay

February 3, 2017

Spending several days in Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco. This is more like we imagined our travels.  Up until now,  we have been pretty actively moving.  At HMB,  we have been pretty actively relaxing!   Our friends Mike and Fran McDowell counselled us on this. When full-time RVing,  don’t think like you are

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Santa Cruz: “Overflow Parking” and Chinese New Year

January 31, 2017

After our great experiences in Central California,  we continued North to Santa Cruz.  There,  our friend Phyllis arranged for us to park in the overflow area of the Pasatiempo Golf Course,  where she lives.   With all the rain they have had here,  “Overflow” is the perfect word!  But at least currently high and dry. During our

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Heading North(ish)

January 26, 2017

Weather still sucks as we left Palm Desert,  but begins to improve as we get a little north of Los Angeles.  We decided to stop for the night at Carpinteria State Beach between Ventura and Santa Barbara.  WHAT AN AWESOME PLACE.   Again,  hard against the ocean beach.  Although with the pounding surf and cold weather, 

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Again, The Weather Stalks us!

January 22, 2017

We  made it across Arizona and NM.  It rained off and on throughout this desert.  Then we spent some time with friends in San Diego.  Our friends, Stefania and Jim, arranged a street parking permit for our RV and we were able to find a spot about 200 yds from their apartment.  It was great to

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Regional Diversity…Reflecting on our First Month on the Road

January 21, 2017

As we’ve wandered,  we have covered more than a few ecosystems and cultures across the southern USA.  Here are a few of our observations:  OT ALL WALMARTS are the same!  Yes. It is true. We are quite the experts on this subject, now.  Walmarts in general WANT us to stay overnight in their nice, big,

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Can there be too much Serenity? Back to Civilization…

January 12, 2017

After 4 nights,  we decided we are weary of wilderness. We need some commotion.  Maybe a siren.  Some exhaust fumes!  So we left the park and headed towards El Paso.  Our first thought was to stop there overnight on the way to Tucson to visit friends.  The folks in the RV across from us at

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Big Bend National Park (and All Politics Aside…)

January 12, 2017

  We spent 4 days at an RV Park (more of an RV parking Lot) hard against the Rio Grande River.  While the RV Facilities were probably the plainest we have seen including many Walmart parking Lots,  the surrounding area is SPECTACULAR.  Now,  we are Midwestern flatlanders.  The desert is something new,  as are mountains

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Purring down the road.

January 7, 2017

We are purring down the road.  OK,  maybe “purring” is the wrong word.  Perhaps “Roaring?”  “Clattering?” On the road begins with dinner with friends.  First in Lafayette, LA with LC Cambre.    LC is a very resourceful prince of a man.  He produced an exquisite meal entirely with a toaster oven and a microwave!  His main

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Even the mundane is an Adventure!

January 7, 2017

Tuesday 3 Jan. We left Gulf Shores,  but not without drama.  Monday afternoon there were Thunderstorms and torrential rains training over us for hours.  No problem…Blackhawks on TV.  Just hanging out feels kinda good.   Then,   DURING THE Blackhawks game (Winter Classic),  a TORNADO WARNING.  Phones Simultaneously sounding the alert,  followed by a crawler and tone

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A Couple Days of Forced Relaxation

January 2, 2017

Waiting for the Airbag Part to arrive for the bus,  we took full advantage.  New Year’s eve we drove the Clown Car to Mobile.  There we spent the afternoon at  Battleship park.  The centerpiece is the Battleship USS Alabama, which is open and there is a self-guided tour…really excellent.  There is also an Airplane museum

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Don’t make Plans and you won’t have Snafus…

December 30, 2016

After Xmas with our new family, the McNicols, (after they adopted us thoroughly for the raucous pandemonium of their family Xmas), we started our trip towards California.  We spent some time considering our route and our strategy.  We even emailed ahead to tee up visits to  friends in Houston.  Along the way,  the universe reminded

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XMAS UPDATE from Jekyll Island, GA.

December 26, 2016

22 December finds us at a FANTASTIC RV PARK on Jekyll Island, Georgia. We are staying here until Tuesday 27 Dec. The island was a private club where the wealthy from the Northeast wintered in the late 18 and early 1900s. Today there are museums, shops and summer homes. We unfolded the bikes, aired and

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The first four days of the rest of our life…

December 19, 2016

In a word: eventful.  I am writing this in the parking lot of a Walmart about 40 miles east of Pensacola Florida.  We have successfully escaped the frigid north,  with the storm-of-the-century nipping at our heels the whole way.   Here in Florida,  “shitty weather” means rain and 50 degrees.  We think HOOORAY,  no ice…which has

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Construction is Done(ish)!

December 13, 2016

As many of our friends know,  our “plan” was to construct a new, smaller unit for Los Harris in the basement of our home in Chicago.  This unit was to be one we could “abandon” for months at a time while we began our ongoing travel adventure.  Well,  as of 1 December, 2016,  the apartment

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Immutable Law(s) of Vintage Diesel RV Ownership (and life)

October 25, 2015

We are learning a lot as with travel with our RV.  Some of the lessons can be narrowly interpreted as engine and RV-related.   Most have broader application.  We’ll list them hereunder…

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Our Friend – RIP

September 16, 2015

We had to put our best friend, travel companion, protector and gentle soul, Heddy,  down today.  She was 14.  Increasingly immobile,  unable to do stairs and even to stand up on our slippery floors.  At night,  when her legs twitched involuntarily as she dreamed,  we KNEW she was chasing her nemeses – mailmen and rabbits. 

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Cozumel, 2015

April 8, 2015

As has become traditional,  we book a “Last Minute Deal” to a warm place for our anniversary.  This year,  the destination was Cozumel, Mexico.    While in Cozumel,  we spent a lot of quality beach time.  We also did more than a little diving.  Most of the reefs and dive spots were very close to

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How Work ruins Vacations

April 8, 2015

As we took our first “Retired” trip, a very interesting transformation occurred. We really did not understand BEFORE retirement how the prospect of returning to work affects one’s vacation “mentality.”  At least for me,  it used to take a couple days to get into vacation mode.  Then the last 3 days or so were spent

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South-by-Southeast

April 8, 2015
South-by-Southeast

This was our first “Retired” Road trip. We left Chicago on 25 January, headed South-by-southeast. Plans were to stop in Atlanta, to visit Liz’s Brother and family. Then continue on to Bradenton, FLA, where some friends had a condo rented for a week. The above was a loose guideline, only. We considered this trip to

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