Our Travel House

Our Travel House

Friday, August 30, 2013


  Being that we're camped for a week at Buffalo Shores CG (a county run CG), we've got time to meet neighbors and do a lot of people watching. It's fun to see other folk's style of camping, especially the folks that only get a few days per year to get away. Most of 'em have kids with them and most have their pets.Totally different crowd than we meet in the "off" season. Most of the pets, dogs, are not socialized to the RV lifestyle, so we listen to a lot of barking. Oh, Joy, what fun!! Of course they all have their "toys" with them or they run home and make 4 trips to get them all here. Jet skis, boats, surfboards, tubes, bikes, etc..WOW...a lot of effort! We've been watching all the manuvers to guarentee a spot for the holidays weekend. Get set up and planted by Thursday afternoon and stake your claim. Of course they all arrive with "tribe" in tow on Friday and it's an immediate Happy Hour and by 7PM the fun is done. They get the kids in bed by 8PM and finally the park is quieting down. PHEWWW!!
 Of course, the working crowd will be up by 0700 and will be starting their diesel trucks, radios blaring, so they can go out to breakfast. Real Camping, ehh?
  Since we're only 50' from the Mississippi River

we've been able to watch a lot of barge traffic traversing upbound and downbound. It's amazing how slowly they move. Gotta be a good job to have. Our CG has a nice beach and from what we hear, it'll be packed this weekend.

   We've decided to replace our AC with a new one but we'll wait til we settle down in Mississippi at Magic River CG about a month from now. The temps are supposed to go down next week and so far it's been tollerable with the fans on full speed. Of course we have other means of putting up with the heat. Cold showers and standing under a spray from the hose and dunking in the river is actually rather fun. Remember when we were kids?? Noticed the neighbors laughing while watching us. I keep inviteing them to join us but they're too old for such nonsense---AWWW!!
Hope ya'll have as great a weekend as we will.

Charlie & Heather

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Buffalo Shores CG Camp #57 Labor Day week

  Our last CG ( Shady Creek) was booked solid for the weekend. Found a County Park just a few miles East called Buffalo Shores.
We went shopping in Muscatine, Ia about a 15 minute drive West, it's a bigger city and has most any store you'd need. Refilled propane and a Wally stop. Bumped into a AC repairman when gassing the rig so I asked him if he had any motor capacitors and he had just what we needed for $13 !! Now thats a lot better price than the $92 quote from the RV suppliers!! Got set up by 1100 and we'll stay here thru the holiday weekend. When we pulled in there on Wednesday there were lots of empty sites but by 1800 they were filling fast. Nice clean park on the Miss. River with a beach. We can see a lot of barges being pushed along the river.

   Update on the AC repairs--Found a motor capacitor. As luck might have it..when LP refilling, a refrigeration repairman from
the area pulled in to the station so I asked him if he had a 7.5mf, 370v motor cap...HE DID !!! $13 ! (how come the RV places get $92???) It's an exact match and very common! He also gave me some advice and hints as to what to look for. Gotta Love Iowa pleasantries. I changed it out in the heat of the afternoon, 95F, and it was really hot up on 'da roof! I turned it on and YAHOO..it works..B U T --short lived celebration! Died again in about 10 minutes. NOW...a motor search is on!! BOOO!!
   It was so hot in the afternoon & evening we hooked up a hose to the spigot and just cooled off under it!! AHHHH!! Felt like a kid in a sprinkler..HA HA HA. I even sprayed the MH roof to cool it down. Oh well.  Happy Hour fixes everything..
  I bet ya we don't do a lot of cooking in this heat..planning on a lot of sandwiches the next few day. That too reminds us of being kids!!  I'm not "kidding" you !! Glad we have this shady spot we're camped in.
  Hope you all have a happy and safe Labor Day ! Use a lot of sunscreen.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shady Creek Iowa Camp # 56 COE CG

   Quick and short blog today.
   Pulled into another COE CG..Shady Creek near Muscatine, Io. Had planned on a week here but they're all "full up" thru the weekend. ( According to COE rules..no parking a camper without nightly occupancy...got a feeling that's not being followed..will do a night patrol..they always have drive up sights..) Got a couple days availability so it looks like we'll be doin' some cruisin' around tomorrow A.M.. need some LP gas and gonna try to find a spot for the Holiday weekend. Luckily there are quite a few CG's near here. This problem has only come up once before. Should be an easy fix. If not??? There's always a Wally World..
   Living without AC is a bit uncomfortable. ( our blog followers know what that's all about) We'll get that going again as soon as we can. I'm gonna try installing a new motor capacitor first as the fan mtr energizes but won't rotate. When deenergized it spins freely. Best price I've found far for the capacitor is $92. I think its worth a try.

PS- found a capacitor for $13..glad I didn't spend more because that didn't fix it. Next is a motor hunt..

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mississippi River museum and Camp#55 Thomson Causeway Ill.

   Pulled out of Potosi, Wis. about 1000 and headed towards Thomson, Ill. with a planned stop & tour at The Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa. 

As you may have guessed in regard to our State changes, we're going down the The Great Mississippi River Road and since the Mississippi River is the border for a lot of the central states it a simple matter of crossing a bridge and changing states! Of course that also makes a difference in gas, grocery, etc. prices. We watch that via internet and it can mean a 20 cent per gallon difference or lower the grocery bill by a lot. The disperity between states is quite remarkable. Using my senior pass at the COE CG's has been great as we get 1/2 off and the average camp fee has been $8 to $9 per night. These camps are well kept and clean and so far all is well. ( some RR tracks have been a bit noisy. Both sides of the Mississippi River has RR tracks along it's banks).

   The museum was well worth the admission price of $28 for the 2 of us. Of course I get a discount there too! It took about 3 hours to wander around. Very informative and well laid out. A marina is part of the tour. We saw how the river contributed to the  growth of our USA and it's importance to commerce. Did you know that the rivers direction was reversed to flush out Chicago's riverfront?? It was a cesspool by Chicago due to all the crap being dumped into it many years ago.
   Hit a Wally World afterwards and restocked. We arrived at The Thomson Causeway CG in Illinois (camp# 55) at 1530 and declared a happy hour. Started a bonfire and took it easy the rest of the day. I even managed an hour nap to recharge. We'll be here for 2 days and move another 80 miles down the river.
                 Charlie & Heather 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Camp #53 Blackhawk COE & Camp#54 Grant River COE

   Been to Desoto, Wis. & Potosi, Wis. Staying at COE CG's on our way down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Stopped at a COE lock and watch them lower a boat.They dropped the water level 14ft in 10 minutes!!

   Notice the view right behind our rig..gorgeous!!      Sure seems wierd paying the $9 to $12 fees per night after shelling out $35 to $45 almost all summer except for the Passport America parks.. I guess the Northern CG's have to charge more as their season is so short. We had noticed the higher fees when we researched this trip in the spring. Part of the price ya gotta pay to travel in the Northern latitudes. Another thing noticable is higher grocery prices and gas and etc, etc.. Good reasons to love being down South.
   So, now we're Southbound. Gonna take 6 weeks or so to get back to the Gulf region. No rush, no schedule, no appointments, just the way we like it. The "PLAN",  written in jello, is to set sight on the SW corner of Mississippi sometime in the beginning of Oct..
  We finally got a COE (Corps of Engineer) map that shows all the CG'S they operate.That'll sure simplify our plans as the net site they use absolutely sucks!! It's slow, sometimes impossible, and ya never know if it will give you enough info to find the park.(a lot of P.O. Boxes, fer instance) I'm sure Reserve America is getting rich running such a lousy site!! SSHHHHH!!!
   We're finding the Great River Trail that follows the Mississippi River very relaxing. It meanders alongside the river, crisscrosses state lines and generally is 30MPH to 55MPH, my kinda speed!!
Some of the little towns we've passed thru look like they're straight outa the "Mayberry" book. Quaint and laid back seems to be the rule of the day. We've pulled over to stop at a lot of Historical Markers as the River had always played a part in the formation of our country.
  Check back often as I'm sure there will be plenty to blog about.

PS-- The AC fan bit the dust..it's all BB's fault...ha ha ha ha !!!! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Camp#52..Lanesboro,Mn. Eagle Cliff C.G.

 For those of you that wonder what the Camp #'s are for, it's how many campsites we've been in since we left Houghton Lake,Mi. last year when we started our fulltime travels.  We left in Oct 2012 and now we're in our 11th month. Seems like yesterday when we said goodbye to all our Michigan friends.
   We pulled out of camp this morning about 0930, ran a bit South about 15mls, to just inside the Iowa border to do some shopping (less taxes, considerably less) and then went to THE SPAM MUSEUM!!! Yes, they do have a Spam Museum. Honest!!!
It's free and does it's best to educate everyone visiting about all their products. They have a web site too  ( www.spamtownusa.com ). Amazing how this American Company ( Hormel Foods) has prospered. Of course they make more than Spam. The mock up store there shows off all the 100's of items they produce with pride. They ship all over the world too.

We've been SPAMICIZED!!  ha ha ha ha.

   About 1430 we pulled into Eagle Cliff CG near Lanesboro,Mn. We had quite a lengthy detour to navigate but we did get to see a lot of nice country landscape in the process. Using this Passport America park to get caught up with laundry then on Friday we'll move to within Lanesboro at the city owned Sylvan Park for 3 days and visit our friends.
  Been noticing the nights are getting cooler. Got down to 57F the last few nights and it required the electric heater in the early morning hours. If it keeps that up we'll start our treck Southbound. You do know we chase 75F !! Daytime  is getting cooler too. After all the 80+ days we really do notice the change. Had to put on our light coats a few times this week.
   Where to from here?? I don't know.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Camp#50 Luverne Mn, Camp#51 Riverbend CG Austin Mn.

Decided it was time for an update.
Since last blog we've moved twice. Our luck is holding out as far as weather is concerned. Seems the storms go North or South of us. We don't mind that at all. Had a few nite time rains, actually helps sleeping listening to the rain on the roof. The only time it gets bothersome is if it rocks the rig.
   Camp # 50 was from Aug 4th to 5th. Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne, Mn...Highlight's of the park is a river and a bison herd of about 100. We went looking for bison and only saw them off in the distance. They musta took the sign seriously.

Nice walking path down near the beach if ya don't mind the trolls!! ha ha ha.
   On Aug 6th we moved 170mls to Austin, Mn., Riverbend C.G...this is Camp #51. Nice in the woods camp next to a river. Been watching the bass jump every day. Gonna stay for a week so I'll bet there's some fishing in the plan. Weather folks are saying good weather. there's that good luck again.

   This type of camping is why we're lovin' our fulltimeing lifestyle!! It's sooo quiet here and little to no light pollution. Kinda off the beaten path, 8 mls to any town. All ya gotta do is plan it properly, get the groceries enrt and sit back & ENJOY! I think too many people plan on running around every day just so they can complain about how expensive life is!! Fees here are $125/wk, sure beats the afformentioned State Park, $62 for 2 days!!I'm beginning to think State Parks are overpricing themselves as they usually are not FHU's.
  Next move will be to Lanesboro, Mn. near our friends Terry & Ginger. Looking forward to seeing them.
   Til next time---REMEMBER, LIVE YOUR DREAMS AS TIME GOES BY QUICKLY!!Charlie &Heather.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Camp#49 Wall,S.D.. Sleepy Hollow RV Park, Wall,S.D.

    Left Three Flags about 10AM on Thursday morning.
 We only had about 60mls to traverse so it wouldn't take too long since we were using I-90 Eastbound. Did a quick shopping trip enrt and pulled into Sleepy Hollow RV Park in Wall, S.D. at 1130AM. I noticed on their internet site that they made a fuss about early & late arivals and departures but when we arrived it was no big deal.( I often wonder why parks do that. Just covering their asses I guess!)
   We started to notice the advertisements for "Wall Drugs" as soon as we got on I-90. Wow! Talk about mass advertiseing! The 100's of billboards were kinda entertaining to read though! "Free ice water","veterans discounts", "coffee & donuts, 50cents", etc.. musta been 200 signs befor ya get to Wall Drug Store.

   Once we got camped again ( all of 20 minutes) we strolled into Wall, about a block away. Of course we "HAD TO" visit "WALL DRUGS". It's just a mini-mall designed to suck tourist's dollars. Of course, with Sturgis Bike week coming up, even though Sturgis is a good hour away, there's a lot of motorcycle centered sales. Main Street was packed with all sorts of motorcycles. The madness has begun. There's over 450,000 bikers headed to the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally. Actually kinda fun to see so many people grinnin' & the rumbling of cycles.. We had a few drinks at a local bar and caroused a few shops before we headed back to the park.
   Today, Saturday, started out with rain but it cleared up at 10AM so we headed South outa' town and hit Hwy 240 to tour the Badlands National Park. It wasn't long before we had to stop at the gateway entrance and I used my Senior Pass to get us in for free.

The Badlands loop road meanders thru the park at 25 to 45MPH. (my kinda speed). The scenery is almost etheral! 

There were a lot of pulloffs and walkways to gain your stares and amazement. It's no wonder it's called the Badlands! Jagged peaks, reds and oranges, rolling hills. Saw a few Bighorn Sheep and prarie dogs. The park traffic wasn't too bad, !! We highly recommend you see this National Treasure !!
 Tonite we gotta figure where we're off to in the morning. Eastbound somewhere!! HA HA HA HA ! Decisions, decisions....