Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where are we????

If you ask Tim I've asked him that question a hundred times since we left Oklahoma City. I'm discovering I wasn't very good in geography. I'm much better in the West. I know Arizona from California.

After leaving OKC, we headed south to Dallas, hung a left and headed east. We stayed the night in Tyler, TX (across from the Tyler Rodeo Arena). From Tyler we drove East on I 20 to Vicksburg, LA - no wait - MS. We had to drive through LA - I was looking for alligators and swamp creatures and we were going to stay in West Monroe, LA but then decided to go further. I kept looking at the route we were taking to get to Daphne, AL and Tim kept changing his mind which way we wanted to go so you can see why I kept getting confused with the states of MS and LA.

Well, we pulled into Vicksburg, MS and guess what??? Dead truck battery. Some dead battery angels are messing with us. What did we do to them? I'm sure the people who answer the phone for Dodge Roadside Service say "Guess who? It's them again!" Left Vicksburg this morning and, once again, I'm driving the truck.

We are now in Slidell, LA - wait a minute - weren't we in MS? How did we get back in LA? We will be pulling into my brother's driveway in Daphne, AL tomorrow. I hope he hasn't moved...I'll never find him especially if I have to go through LA and MS again. He say's his driveway is long enough with no over-hanging tree limbs. Stay tuned...I'll let you know.

Oklahoma City

This picture was taken at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. This is the Field of Empty chairs. There are 168 chairs symbolizing a life lost, with smaller chairs representing the 19 children killed.

If you're every in OK City. This is a must see. It will evoke every emotion you have.

I just figured out how to make a collage using Picassa. I took a bunch of pictures, cropped them and used the "create a collage" feature, added background color...don't really like the color that much but can't go back and change once it's "created" and, voila! My first collage!

We met up with our friends, Tim and Crystal who once again played tour guide for us. They took us to the "stockyards" to show us some pigs - in particular a real ugly pig - but all the piggys were gone. So we went to lunch at Cattlemen's (will be featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) and ate beef.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cars and horses

We were at the Colorado State Fairgrounds for the Discovery Rally the last few days and there was also a "low rider" show and a rodeo going on at the same time.

I was fascinated with the low rider show. The work these young people put into these cars. The detail was unbelievable. Mirrors were a big factor to show off tires and the underneath carriage. Chrome was a factor. Lots of chrome. Sprinkle dust, rope lights. Crosses, skeletons, polish cloths. Hydraulics - stuff that makes the car bounce up and down.
I expected the the car in the second picture to rise, hover and fly. All of the cars at the show had to be cars that would start and run. We talked to one young couple who had an absolutely beautiful car. He had gutted the car, put 1800 hours in rebuilding it to show quality (can't imagine the $$ involved) and no additional insurance coverage other than basic car insurance. He drives it on the street and if it were totaled in an accident he would get whatever an insurance company would pay for an old car...in this case a '62 chevrolet. They can't afford any additional insurance.

Then there was the rodeo. Cowboys, horses and ropes. Lucy wasn't crazy about the horses. Didn't smell like any dogs she knew. There's a link to my web album (below the cowboy picture) where you can see all the pictures:


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

20 Minute Shower!!!

Yea! I'm camping! I took a 20 minute shower!

If you all read a previous post, you know my idea of camping is Marriott. Well, we are at the Pueblo Marriott: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pubdt-pueblo-marriott/ for the next two nights. The motorhome is at the Caterpillar dealer here in Pueblo having maintenance work done (something to do with the diesel engine) ($$ kaching $$) and we needed a place to stay. And, guess what? Pueblo has a real, live Marriott! And, Lucy gets to camp, too! She gets her own bed. We pick the moho up Friday and head to the Pueblo fairgrounds for the Discovery Rally. But, for now, I'm living in the moment...the Marriott moment. (Can you tell it's been awhile since I've been in civilization???)

Tim and I were trying to figure out the last time we were in a Marriott. We think it was our last trip to Ireland (about 4 years ago). I really like Marriott. I like the Marriott burger. I've missed Marriott. I've missed 20 minute showers. I've missed flushing a real toliet. I think I've flushed it 20 times already...just because I can. (Hopefully, we won't get an added water bill charge!) Hark...there's a knock on the door...it's room service! Later.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lucy & The Air Force Academy

Updating this blog is more work than I thought it would be. Actually, not work in the sense of punching a clock...more along the lines of getting the brain and creative cells working together. They don't always jive. And, when they do I don't always have good internet available. At the moment, I seem to have it all. So, I need to type fast before something fails.

We are in Monument, CO (which is about 12 miles north of Colorado Springs). Tim asked me what Monument is known for and I'm not sure it's known for anything except it is the highest elevation between Denver (40 miles to the north) and Colorado Springs. We left Gunnison, CO a few days ago driving east on US 50. I drove the truck instead of towing. We had to go over Monarch Pass (a kagillion feet high) and didn't want to take a chance of the moho overheating. We stopped in Pueblo to stretch our legs and Tim said it was one of the most scenic roads he's been on. I wouldn't know. I didn't take my eyes off the center lane. It's a curvey with no guard rails road. I haven't driven on such a road for 25+ years. Last time I did was when the kids and I drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. That trip ended with a migraine.
We went to the Air Force Academy on Thursday. Lucy had her Therapy Dog vest on hoping it would get her in the Visitor's Center. The receptionist was ready to attack (she could see us coming up the walk) until Lucy started waving to her. The ice was broken, Lucy was allowed to enter and she called her boss to come down and see the "military's smallest working dog". I'm not sure where she got that idea...maybe the "blue" Air Force vest? I wasn't going to contradict her. Lucy won everyone over and was even presented with an "Air Force" coin.

I lived in Colorado Springs in the mid-80's for a couple of years. I haven't been back for 20 years. I recognized the Air Force Academy, the bank where I worked, The Broadmoor Hotel where Lorie worked as a dishwasher in their international building, the Jr. High where Shane and I had a meeting with the principal since it appeared Shane was trying to "shake down a kid's lunch money"...Shane's side of the story was he was just fooling around and the kid was a wimp. and, after spending a tank of gas looking for it, the townhouse where we lived. Didn't recognize much else.

We have played tourist the last few days and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The weather has been great but at the moment it's raining with a few thunder claps. At least it's not snow. The aspens were just starting to change over Monarch Pass (when I could sneak a peak without fear of going over the side). We leave for Pueblo next week (working a Discovery Rally) and I get to go camping...my idea of camping. Stay tuned.
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Friday, September 04, 2009


It's the beginning of Labor Day weekend and we are staying at Blue Mesa in Gunnison, CO. This "resort" is part of Western Horizons and is about 12 miles west of the town of Gunnison. We have a nice site facing west (great sunsets) and no one in front of us (and, so far, pretty kid free). The downside is we have no cell phone service. We have to drive 8 miles before we get any blips. They do have good wi-fi but are limited on usage. No downloading of music, movies, etc. We are here until Sept 8 and then move onto Monument, CO.

After leaving Junction City, OR we headed to Reno with the hopes of meeting up with my niece. Unfortunately, they were off on a camping trip. We stayed at the rv park at Grand Sierra Casino and signed up for the Player's Card in the Casino. We got our $5.00 coupon to play, won $40.00 on their $5.00 which paid for dinner. We are not gamblers. It was pretty funny watching both of us trying to figure out how to play the slot machine. You've got to put your Player Card in the slot, then find the slot for the "coupon" and then play. I just kept hitting the play 1 credit button. When I hit the double jackpot and it kept adding credits I had no idea what I won. I "printed coupon" which cashed me out. We took the money and went and stood in the buffet line.

Leaving Reno we drove to Elko where we overnighted and once again had a dead battery on the truck! I think we have battery gremlins who are messing with us. Got the truck running again but decided I would drive the truck the next day instead of hooking up in order to get a good charge on it. We spent the night at the Elk's Club in Provo and the next morning left for Grand Junction CO. I'm still driving the truck since Tim has been concerned about the motorhome overheating while climbing some pretty steep grades towing a weighty truck. We're currently at 7200 feet and when we leave here we go over Monarch Pass which is 10,000+ feet.

Weather is great - mid 70's during the day - 40's at night. Lucy wants an exra blanket.

It's September already...what happened to summer?