Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Sunday, August 26, 2012

This and that

Hello all,
 We are home at Ottawa State Park. It has been 2 months being houseless. Wendy says it doesn't seem like its been that long. But with a vacation and moving around - Time flies when you're having fun.
 We laugh sometimes as people ask if we are going camping this weekend and we say we go camping every weekend !
 It also seems hard as we look about that everything we have (need) is right here. So far we haven't thought of to much that we need.
 We had long time friends John and Judy stop by for a campfire last night. We shared ooey-gooey cookie with them that was made in our dutch oven.

our cool sign from Mandi


   It has been so dry this year so no mosquitoes to pester which is nice.
 Today we are going to cross a item off our to do list- We are going to tour the Red Brick Museum in Mukwonago, WI.. Wendy and I both were brought up in Mukwonago since about 5 yr. old. And shame on us we have never been to the museum.

 We are planning a retirement-hitting the road party for Oct. 6th at the Cruise in Tichigan. You all are welcome to attend.
  We are planning to actually hit the road in mid Oct. I have been trying to not set to many plans  in stone. One big concern is my moms health. She has been in a nursing home for the past 2+ years and is not doing the best. Our short term plans may need to change. As always time will tell.

 Rained most of the day (much needed). Sun peeked through about 7, in time for a nice sunset.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lessons learned!!

     Okay, I will get the bad out right away-
 We weren't able to get our South Dakotas drivers licence.
 Ouch this hurts- We thought we had everything we needed- but seems the S.S. card I have been carrying since high school- and using for many things was incomplete. I was missing the top half.
 They allowed 2 other types of proof. 1 was a tax form.- Wait we sent all tax papers to daughters in N.C. (we wouldn't need them in the RV- wrong) The other acceptable form was a check stub with SS number on it. Had check stub- they no longer print a SS number on them.
 Okay a quick run to Social S. office and wallah- they will send me a duplicate in 7-10 days :(
 (note to George and Laurie the DMV is open Mondays at Minnhaha County Administration Building in downtown Sioux Falls)
 Okay you can imagine how we felt. Well this will be one to remember the journey by.
 We will make another run at it in a couple weeks. We will just drive the truck and do it in 2 days.

 Okay that's in the past- remember in earlier post I said we had a special stop on this vacation- well I know you've been on pins and needles waiting.

                                     The SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota.
 This is a must see- It has been there since 2002. It is very well done, informative and fun for all.
Oh and you can get different kinds there only. Bacon Spam, Jalapeno Spam, Hot and spicy Spam, Garlic, Cheese, Black pepper. WOW who knew. 

     Okay, if you weren't feeling sorry for us I got  a good one for you.
We go to hook up and notice our pipe that holds sewer hose leaking something- this don't look good.
  Seems we forgot to close black tank valve-Crap-
 Okay we luckily we were there just for the 1 night and couldn't be to bad.
 We pull as close to dump station and I don the rubber gloves and with very little spillage we emptied the tank. Whew!!- no Robin Williams moment.
 I guess we haven't done that before so lesson learned - right.- Okay now set up at Ottawa and Lukas says Grampa your dripping something- I check and valve is open again. We just got here and Wendy had cleaned the bowl- what the heck!!
 I start messing with handle and realize it is not working. And stuck open. Something feels detached- I almost empty basement trying to figure out what is wrong.  Wait go check the Internet- waste about 40 minutes and find nothing.
  Looking at the bottom I realize there is a board screwed that must be an access panel. I remove 8 screws and there nicely available is the valve gate. Seems the cable ( pretty much the same as a bike brake cable) has came loose.  I tightened it and can chalk up another lesson learned.
 Well overall we had a great vacation, saw a lot, and good time with family.
 We drove back to WI. and luckily got a site at Ottawa State Park until Labor Day weekend.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It will be official

  Well tomorrow is the day, we will be official South Dakota residents. The last few days we have been enjoying the sites around Sioux Falls. Here are some of the places.

Falls Park

Sertoma Butterfly House & Purdy Marine Cove

The Outdoor Campus

Palisades State Park

Will post more of adventures. Thanks for traveling along.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Beautiful !!

Drove the scenic loop in the southern unit of Thedore Roosevelt National Park. It is bigger than we thought it would be. We saw wild horses, prairie dogs, bison and a badger. Great views all around.

With Lukas and Noah
Randy, Lyn and Kate

 Today we will be going to the northern unit of the park. Thanks for tagging along.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


  Yes, we are on (our last ?) vacation. We left on Thur.(8:30) morning with our grandsons Noah and Lukas. We met up with my bnl Randy and fiance Lyn. They had also brought a little friend of the family Katie, a good match for Lukas to play with.
  Destination- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.
  This should be interesting as we are both towing our rigs with new (to us) trucks.
 Started out as a cool cloudy day which later turned to rain. Oh well, the farmers really need that.
  We drove up through WI. towards Minneapolis. Wendy had picked out a couple campgrounds past there depending how we felt. The bypass 694 around Minneapolis was under much construction and was stop and go : (.  Not fun and the day was getting long we opted for the closest one.
  Day one ended at 4:30, St. Cloud Campground Minn. With driving through all the construction we were beat. We do look forward to keeping the drives shorter when we fulltime.

 Day 2 took us though Minnesota and a must stop in Fargo to see the famous shredder from the movie. Randy and Lyn were a bit in the dark on this not having saw the movie. We have to find a dvd and watch it.

  We drove on to Jamestown, N. D. and camped by the big buffalo. Also got to feed the buffalo and see a rare white one.

  Day 3 we drove through a lot of petty crappy rain and some one lane construction. Wendy had commented that there would be no place to pull over if someone had trouble. We were aiming to get to a Walmart in Dickinsville. Well remember how I said we were driving new trucks---Well Randy now knows how far he can get on a tank of gas. Yep- ran out right in the construction about 8 mi. from Walmart.
  I had just pulled ahead to lead the way to Walmart and with all the rain we didn't know when we lost him.
  We had no cell reception, but luckily Noah did. They called coach net and were told it could be an hour. but with trucks blazing past at 65+ Lyn wanted off the road asap. So we dropped our rig at the gas station and rushed some gas to them. Coach net did send a policeman, who assisted in slowing traffic some so we could gas up and get the heck out of there.
   They were a bit frazzled but I said if this is all that happens it will be great. In reading the fulltimer blogs one thing stressed is being able to keep your cool and roll with the punches.
 Day 3 ended in rain but at Medora, just outside the park.

 Welcome new follower Janice, thx for joinin in.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Another week gone

   We had a great weekend and the weather changed from hot and muggy to a beautiful Sunday.
 On Friday night, Wendy got together with high school friends for a fish fry. She played softball with them for 10+ years. They get together for fish frys and a Christmas party in Dec.

 On Saturday we watched our youngest daughter Colleen and her son Noah run in a 4 mile benefit run. The run was held in Waterford at night. They both did a great job! Colleen took up running this spring and has competed in a few runs. She also has lost alot of weight.
Proud of both of them
  Sunday morning I worked on adjusting the hitch on the new truck and the trailer.  The new truck is a good 2-1/2" taller, so we needed to lower the pinbox and raise the hitch in truck. I was glad Nate had come to help. To move the pinbox required hooking up  and using the camper hydraulics to get it to move. Man, it was tight.
 Later Sunday we went to Colleens for a birthday party for youngest grandson Isaiah. A big 4 years old.

  On Thursday we leave for a vacation to N. Dakota. T. Roosevelt's National Park is the big destination. We  plan on driving home through South Dakota to get our drivers licences and register the camper.
   We also have a secret destination so you'll have to check back in to see where it is.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another step

     Well, today was another step towards living our dream.
    I turned in my resignation notice, final date of Sept. 30. It still doesn't seem real. I felt like I was turning in a vacation request.
  I have been employed here since 1975. I had started as a pourer in the foundry, worked up to leadman, then a supervisor, back to a leadman. The last two years as a maintenance clerk.
  And all but 3 years on 3rd. shift. It will be a change not heading off into the night.  It has been a pretty good company. We make a variety of products, which has kept us working most all of the time.
  But change is a happening. The company has been purchasing some smaller companies and getting big. There has also been a lot of change in upper management.  So I think its a good time to get out.
 Wendy will be done with her job on 8/7/12. She has only been working there a short time and does not have any vacation time. So as we plan to do a 2 week vacation to N. & S. Dakota, we thought it best if she just hung it up. Her recent job was only 20 hours a week part time.
  She will be able to start making our work camper resume and begin to look for a good job next spring/summer.
  Our youngest daughter Colleen and family just returned from a vacation in Upper Michigan. We have done a few vacations there and really love it. I would recommend a trip there to anyone who can.

 Welcome new followers Pam and Wayne. Thanks all for following along and feel free to comment in.