Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Monday, October 29, 2012


 Hi Y'all,
On Sunday we thought we would go and catch a Packer game at some sport bar. I had downloaded a app called Packers Everywhere and it is suppose to locate nearby bars to catch Packers. So turns out a bar is about 15 miles away. We arrive about 10 minutes before kick off to find bar out of business :(.
 So we spun back to Dickson, Tenn. Thinking we might find something. Ah ha a Ruby Tuesday and not to busy. They were playing the Titans game on all their tv's. I asked if they would turn one on the Packers.
 Well after a short try the girl said they haven't been getting more than just local games. (really?)
 So I guess it just wasn't meant to be. We had a drink and an appetizer and left. Oh well glad the pack won without me.

  On Monday we played tourist to Nashville. The park we are in is about 30 miles west.
 It was a sunny day but the wind was bitter cold. Temp only reached about 50. We were not into doing the country museum stuff, and we wanted to do it on the cheap. A fellow blogger had informed us of a free bus line that zips around downtown.

 Turns out we never hit the bus. We just waltzed in and out of a few of their many gift shops,  hit a few bars listening to their entertainment and sampled some local cuisine.

 We were surprised that on a Monday afternoon many had live music. But I guess that's Nashville.
 The town looks like it will be getting crazy. On Thursday is the Country Music Awards. We saw a few big semis with lighting and stage material starting to set up.
 A couple of the big bars were also closed for private parties. We caught ourselves checking out a limo waiting for some big star to emerge. Yeah, nobody recognizable came out.

 So with the crazy weather east of here s--w and such we decided to hold off on moving for a couple days.
                                 We will get caught up on wash and do some geocaching .

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Fest

Hi all,
 Well the weather has taken a turn. It sure was nice putting on shorts and sandals for a bit.
 But luckily we are not in Sandy's way. We are watching closely as I have a brother and his family in Maryland. We hope that mother nature chooses to prove the weathermen wrong.

 Friday at 10:00 we started to take a hike, knowing the rain was to start after noon. We got about one mile out and it began to rain. Oh well, not to bad. We took a shortcut home and still got 2.6 miles in.
 It was a good thing the rest of the day was rainy.

We hadn't been shut in the camper yet though I know there will be days. Just like with snow you have to make the best of it. So we did what everybody does on days like this. Off to Walmart. We are keeping a list so when we hit a good shopping center we get what we need.
  Today(Sat.) we set out to hit a fall pumpkin festival in Franklin, Tenn. It was your normal fall fest- crafts, food , and some entertainment. They had a super large pumpkin to guess the weight of.
 It was just a bit to cool, (48) to really enjoy.
We ducked into a restaurant called Pucketts Grocery. They serve southern style bbq and fixins. They have another location in Nashville. We both had pulled pork which was delicious. Wendy says I am going to get bbq'd out. I say that'll never happen.
                       What you see in the pic is pumpkin spiced beer. (also yummy!).
 After we got home from the fest and relaxed a bit we took the rest of the hike we had started on Friday. We had to work some of that lunch off.
  So the weather is suppose to be cool the next few days. We may just go and find a spot to watch Packers and Wendy is checking on some geocaches. We have not done that hobby since we were on vacation in North Dakota.
 Monday we will go check out Nashville. We are waiting til Monday as they run free buses then. Thanks to Laurie for the info on that.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On to Tennessee

Hi again.
  Time to catch up on the last couple days and our time in the Land Between the Lakes.
 Wendy and I did get the kayak wet. On Tuesday we put it in just behind our campsite.
 Of course the predicted 13 mile per hour wind was blowing straight into us. We thought once we got to the other side we would be protected. Well we were and got to explore the shores of a nice bay.

         The wind then helped to push us home. Spent about three hours out, a nice time out.

 Wednesday we took a three mile hike. We had taken this hike our first day here so this time we did it in reverse. It is a very nice hike bouncing from woods to shoreline.
 After that we just lounged in the afternoon sun. I know its a rough life. We say we got to slow down.
  That evening we made one more trek to see if we could spot the fallow deer. I don't know why but they tend to stay in an area around a visitor center.

 We first spotted four that seemed to have something better than us to look at. A look through my binoculars spotted a coyote sneaking in the grass. The four soon went into the woods. We then spotted two young bucks off on another side. They playfully sparred for a moment. That was cool.
 So we were leaving to head home as it was getting dark, when we rounded a corner and there were four larger bucks at the edge of the woods. Again as our luck Wendy had set her camera down. When she got it ready they were in the woods. Oh well, we had a great time.
 So today was moving day. We moved to Montgomery Bell State Park in Tennessee. We plan to drive to Nashville for a day trip and a Pumpkin festival in Franklin, Tenn. on Saturday.

 Thanks for following along and we appreciate all comments.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Still at LBL

Hi again,
 I put a new gadget on the top right side for following the blog by e-mails. Try it and let me know if it helps.
 Wendy keeps asking me if I feel retired yet or 'on vacation'. I say I don't know how retired is suppose to feel.

 We are doing the things we would do on many vacations. We have been hiking quite a bit. We have taken a few bike rides - nothing to tough. And we have been riding around checking the area out(always looking for wildlife).

  We are staying in a nice national forest area which we prefer over some private campgrounds.

  We have hit a nice spell of weather. It is suppose to be in the 80s for the next few days. We  plan on inflating the kayak for a workout tomorrow. We should be able to just launch off our site. We only hope the wind isn't to strong.

American White Pelicans

 We have had some nice chats with a few people. We talked to a work camper at another campground that was from Madison WI. He had some good pointers for us. We also had a nice old fella offer us some fresh fish (crappies) he had caught. We were not in our area and no way to transport the fish. Nice offer though.  If I was staying here longer I would be tempted to get me a fishing licence.

 Oh and I had a good laugh today. While on a hike Wendy went to try and see how strong the vines hanging from the trees were. Well,I put the camera down to soon- what you don't see is Wendy on her butt. Seems the vines aren't quite the type Tarzan used. Sorry no pic.

                              She says she is just keeping me entertained. Oh yeah!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hiking and biking in Kentucky

 Hello All,
 Well four days in to this fulltime thing and one thing I know,
            I am out of shape :(.
 We have taken a few nice hikes and I can tell you there are some nice hills in Kentucky. We also took a good bike ride and my butt hurts.

 But all in all it was great. Wendy really tries to go at my pace. It gives her a chance to use her photography skills.

 Today we were taking a very short .3 trail and got surprised by some deer. Now being from Wisconsin we new there was something different about these deer. We saw about six and one was a large racked buck. But the rack looked like a caribou rack. And some of them had spots and were different shades of light brown to dark.

 Well the mystery was solved in a nearby nature center. Seems they had planted some Fallow deer and that is what we were lucky to see.
 Sorry no picture of the buck even though I wished I had a video of Wendy stalking after them. I told her she should have been a hunter. ( maybe I'll get her some camouflage :).

  Oh, I said I would say more about Land Between the Lakes. It is a large tract of land- 170,000 acres-42 mi. in length and 7 mi. wide, with 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline. It lies on the western side of Kentucky/Tennessee. The borderline splits it about 3/4 of the way down.
 The main waterways are Lake Barkley to the east and Kentucky Lake to the west.  These were at one time rivers but dammed up to create the lakes. I was quite impressed with the size of the lakes, they are huge.
 There are welcome centers at the north and south ends, a visitor center with a Planetarium in the middle.
Also there is a Elk and Bison Prairie with a scenic road through it for viewing and another bison only range.

   For camping they have five different areas from full hook ups to primitive. And did I tell you they have lots of hiking and bike trails. Well they do :(.

                             So we plan to stay here til next Tues. (Oct. 23rd.) or who knows?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good bye Wisconsin

 A big hello to all, 
Holy cow! We have finally done it. We left Mukwonago on Monday morning at 10:30. So now we are fulltime campers. I know, we had been homeless since July 2nd and only living in the rv, but it just didn't seem like we were there yet.
 So now we are there. Where?  Well we had a small task to take care of before we left. It was for a future sister in laws birthday. We won't say how old she is here but Happy Birthday to Lyn.

 So our first night was spent at a Flying J. And this is what we had planned. When you are on the road many rv'ers utilize Flying Js, Pilot gas stations and Walmarts for quick one night stands. Oh and it helps that it is free camping. But is it? You usually fill up, and we ate dinner and breakfast in the connected Dennys. So not  total free loading.

 But it works nice that you don't unhook and are ready to take off quick in the morning. It wasn't to bad. we had about 8 other campers there and truckers were far on other side.
  We got up and finished our drive to Land Between the Lakes. A new area to us to explore. It is a National recreation area that is 42 miles long and is split between Kentucky and Tennessee.
 Pulled in about 12:30 and got a nice site right on the waters edge. The water looks to be really low, as with most places.

 After getting settled in we had lunch and took a nice four mile hike. It was beautiful, The weather was about 70 and we found two really neat beaches. We goofed off so much on the hike it was getting toward dusk before we got home.

 I will write more on the park in the next blog.
 We completed the night with a nice dinner and a campfire.

                          Thanks for following along

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting to be that time of year

Hello all,
  We awoke Monday morning to no water. Seems it got cold enough that our water hose had froze.
 I know I should have been prepared. The weather report called for it to happen. I thought of putting water in the fresh tank. I thought of opening grey release valve to sewer and slowly running water. But I seemed to be unable to function on Sunday. My head hurt. The retirement party got the best of me.
 Well with not needing to be anywhere special at any time I unhooked the hose a set in the sun. It was only about one hour and walla we had water flow.
 The campground ( Country View in Mukwonago) is really starting to empty out. After a pretty busy weekend there are only about seven units with cars about. The park is to close on Sunday. They told us it would be okay to pull out on Monday. Wow! we will win the last to leave award. TOP 1.
 We have had a little ritual when family camping to be last to go to bed. We would say we made it to the top 10 or top 5. Yea, I know we seem to have these rituals or habits that become customary. We will have to start some new ones. Come on, fess up to something that you all do that is ritual / habit. We want to hear it.).
  We have decided to make a different route to N. C. We had thought of going out to DC, then to North Carolina. With all that has been happening we feel we would like to get some time off by ourselves and explore a new area to us. It just feels like we have been running to one thing or another. We are looking to spend a little time at Land Between The Lakes in Kentucky.
 We have been busy looking on internet for a spring/summer camp host position. Would like to be out west Wyoming or Utah, but nothing set for sure yet. Anyone got any good ideas?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Retirement Party

Hello all,
      We want to thank all for the nice comments concerning the passing of my mom.
 It was a busy week with family coming in from out of town for the funeral. And on top of that we had planned our retirement/ hitting the road party for Saturday.
 I was worried it may be to soon to have a party but with having a hall reserved and invites out we felt we needed to go on. As it turned out the party may have helped in the healing process.

With brothers and sisters. Corey, Diane, me (Ray), Charlene, Russ, Darlene

Celebrating with the kids. Mandi, Nate and Colleen.
We were even surprised as my dad attended the party. My youngest brother had been in town for the funeral and was to leave Saturday morning. As he was at the airport all set to go he found out his flight would be delayed and would miss his connecting flight. Well how nice they would have to wait until Sunday and attend the party. We think my mom had something to do with that.
 It also was nice as our daughter (Mandi) was able to extend her stay to attend. (Wendy said she knew Mandi would find a way to be there).
   The party was a huge success. We were blessed to have so many of our friends and family in attendance.

Some of our high school friends and spouses

 So we had a great time and a big thanks to all. We will miss seeing you all on a regular basis.
 We now know we will head out on Oct. 15. We will make a slow trek to North Carolina to stay with Mandi through the holidays.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Missing mom

Hi all,
 Retirement began with an ending we were sadly awaiting. My (Ray) mom passed away on Sunday.
 She had been in a nursing home the past two years and in hospice care the past month.
 She had a rough go initially with diabetes, then a stroke and then surgery to remove her colon.
 She did have some good brief recoveries where we got her to three grandchildren weddings, a couple parades and a few nice dinners.
 My dad would make almost daily visits with her, and was with her at the end. No better example of true love.
 She was a caring mom and always there for us. She will be missed.
 It has been difficult as we are planning our retirement/hitting the road party and this at the same time.
But we know mom would not want to hold us back.