Our Travel House

Our Travel House

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9-29-14 Renfro Valley RV Park in Mt Vernon, KY.

Last night was one of the first nights we could leave the windows open and all the roof vents open. It's nice for a change to maintain 65F all night. Daytime temps are hovering around 75F. It's what we call the ideal weather days.
When we pulled into town we instantly recognized the fact that we've been here before. Renfro Valley RV park caught my attention when I was planning our stop as it's a Passport America (PA) 50% off park. I always check PA first when laying out a trip plan. Over a year they've saved us a ton of money. We've belonged to PA since we started travelling 5 years ago and highly recommend their benefits. The only other better deal we've found was Corps of Engineer RV Parks with my senior discount, usually $8 a night.
I found out how to travel within a retirees budget by reading www.hitchitch.com years ago. It's been an amazing dream come true to find out how affordable this lifestyle can be. We've met a lot of people on the road and we all share the deals we've found with each other.
This RV park has become a destination point for a lot of music lovers. They do have some big name entertainment regularly and the rustic village setup is amazing. It's not far off I-75 and has all the hookups and cable tv. Easy in & out and is very clean. It's a quick walk to the main drag for almost anything you need. It isn't very full from Sunday to Wed..
I wonder where our next stop will be ? Probably about 100 miles further South. It's always fun planning our moves. Since we quit making reservations it's been less stressful trying to keep an agenda. All I do nowadays is find 3 possibilities in a given area and head there. That always leaves us wide open to change our minds midstream if we see something interesting enroute.
9-30-14 Tues.-- Got a plan for tomorrow. Going to drive a short 93 miles South. Weather is supposed to be good. We enjoyed Renfro Valley RV and it was good to sit for a few days.

Charlie & Heather.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

#122 Ohio rest area, #123 Mt Vernon,KY

Camp #122- Ohio rest area milemarker 81

Pulled out of Wayne County CG, Bellville Mich.,9-27-14, at our usual 1030hrs and hit I -275 S towards I-75 S, near Monroe, Mi.

For a Sat the traffic was very light so we made excellant time. Once we crossed into Ohio we stopped for $150 of gas and a stretch and ran to Exit 81 near Piqua, Ohio. We don't very often layover at a rest area. It was nice to just stop and after 173 miles I was ready. Got a good night's sleep.
    Our chassis battery hasn't been doing too well even though I had it load tested. Gonna change it out this week. It's been using a lot of water and doesn't seem to be holding a charge very long. When we got up in the morning it didn't have enough umphhh to crank over the generator. Now it's messing with my ability to watch TV.

   Back on the road Sunday morning and drove 214 miles to Mt Vernon, KY. Stopped at Renfro Valley CG, CAMP 123 ,and decided to do 3 days at our Passport America rate. $45 !! We've got FHU & cable, great deal. This CG has a reputation for great music fests.

    Our trip also entailed throwing a fan belt but I was able to coast into a Auto Value parking lot. The rig was starting to overheat but we made it ! I let it cool down while we ate lunch and then procured the belt ($6) and it took about a ½ hr to install it. Managed to blow out some anti freeze so I refilled that too. Back on the road after a 2 hr delay, probably would have been quicker if I could have found a belt routing diagram. I'm sure glad I've got some mechanical ability left in this old body.

   Eventually I'm gonna have to look at a map to figure out where we'll head for after we traverse the first ½ of our Southbound trip. I think it's fun to “just head Southbound” !! We're already in an area that is warmer at night. We both want to hit Mississippi, we've got some friends of ours that are workamping in the SE corner of Ms. that we're looking forward to meeting up with.

   We managed to get into the mountains today and the views were spectacular. The cloud formations today were glorious. We've always enjoyed this corner of the country. Luckily the weather has been wonderful. High 70's in the daytime and hi 60's at night. How do ya beat that? We haven't needed AC or heat at all.


Charlie & Heather

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Camp 117 to 121 Michigan travels and visits.

 Camp 117, June 16th to 22nd--Moochdocked at John & Kathleens for a week. We try to visit them every year. It's like one of our favorite couples to spend time with. Their property in Croswell, Mi. is on the Black River and is beautiful. Woke up nearly every morning with a herd of deer outside our window. While we were their I renewed my membership at the American Legion as that's my home post. I've known these guys for decades and our friendship gets better & better. As usual, Croswell is an inviting town. It's small and hasn't been ruined like other cities. 
    June 20th, Camp 118..We reconnected with my young friend Tim Robison & his wife Robyn..I keep in touch with Tim on FB but it's been a lot of years since we've seen each other. He put on a BBQ Saturday night and we camped in the yard. It rained a bit so we all partied in his man cave in the garage. Some other friends stopped in and we enjoyed George & Sheila McGinnis and John Tubbs company. It was a fun evening.
   We moved on down further South and stopped in to visit Jean & Leon Calvert in New Baltimore, Mi..Camp 119... Jean & I worked at DTE for a lot of years. She saw us last winter in Florida. Her daughter Amy was there with Abby, her daughter. My, My, these kids grow fast !! Jean made up a pot of chicken soup with dumplings that was to die for !! Leon suprised us with a couple of new camp chairs, just wait til I put pictures of them on here later on. 
   Suprisingly my old friends, Dan & Rose Forrest, live just around the corner, like 3 blocks, from Jean's place so we spent a night at their place, Camp 120..Ate a great dinner and sat around a bonfire til wayyyy to late chewin' the fat. Dan took us out, for a quick trip, to a marina to see his recently aquired boat. It's more like a yacht !! Made me miss my boat ! I haven't seen these folks since about 2001. I sure enjoy reestablishing friends like these. 
   We pulled out of New Baltimore about 1130hrs and headed to Belleville, Mich. We pulled into the Wayne County Fairground Campground about 1400hrs. Our route was more or less across the Northern edge of Metropolitan Detroit. More traffic than we normally like but not too bad. We probably saw more traffic today than we usually see in a month !! The sun was up and temps were in the low 70's and no wind so it made for a pleasant drive. 
   So here we are at Camp 121  for 2 days. It's just a short drive from my sister's house in Canton. I gave her a call and she's gonna visit us in the morning. I'm really looking forward to seeing her as it's been years since we've been face to face. 
  It feels good to be on the road again. As you may surmise, we're just poking along as usual. Gas prices have been lowering and I hope that continues. 
   I want to make a shoutout to everyone that has extended their hospitality to us..THANK YOU for the good times!! What a wonderful bunch of people !! 
Charlie & Heather.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Friday afternoon 9-12-14 we got setup on 'THE HILL' , that's the CG for Mt Pleasant Casino. We hit the casino via the shuttle bus. Had fun but didn't get lucky. Usually we do pretty well there. Stayed 2 nights, $18/nite, and departed Sunday A.M.at our standard 1000 heading to Lansing to see my daughter.
Got recamped at 1200. Had to drive 70 miles !! Whew, what a grueling schedule. So now we're at Cottonwood CG, the only CG in Lansing. We've been here before and it's a nice park. FHU for $33. Only 1 night here and then we head to Crosswell in the ' Thumb “ to see our friends John & Kathleen.
We been noticeing the trees are changing color all along our route. Seems a bit early to see so much color. It might have something to do with the 30+ degree nights lately. Farmer's Almanac says an early winter and a repeat of last year. I heard there's been snow in the NW already! YUK !!
Got a lunch date with my daughter and her fiance in about an hour..good, I'm hungry.

Charlie & Heather

Friday, September 12, 2014

9-12-14 ON THE ROAD AGAIN !!

Friday, Sept 12, on the road. Loaded the few remaining things and disconnected power. Pulled out of our friend's yard (Camp 113) in Houghton Lake, Mi. about 1000hrs. Did a few chores in town, gassed up and said goodbye to our “ hometown “.
Decided, last night, to take some different roads for a change. West to Lake City on M-55, South 66 to West 20 into Mt Pleasant. It's overcast but no rain or wind. Hardly any traffic encountered so it was a nice 3 hour putzy drive.
The new brakes are working very well and the added weight in our trailer was hardly noticable. We literally floated down the road since the lube job too !
We set up at Mt Pleasant's Soaring Eagle campground about 2 miles South on the casino. They have shuttle service to the CG. Our usual routine is to go gambling in the later evening. Seems we have better luck with that schedule. Of course Lady Luck has been invited to join in the fun.
It's supposed to be on the cool side til next Tuesday and night temps are going down to the high 30's. BBRRR !! LP is full so we ain't scared !! LOL
It felt good to be rolling again. We've seen Canadian geese starting to flock together. Kinda reminds me of the migration of all us travellers.
I hope you all join us and follow the blog, or better yet, hitch up and travel this winter !
Charlie & Heather

PS..once again, Thank you to Jerry & Terra !! Miss you already !!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Michigan departure pending!! 9-9 &10-2014


Tuesday 9-9-14 was a Great productive day ! My buddy, Jerry, put new brakes on the front of the rig. He did the rears last week. I was surprised the front brakes weren't as worn out as the rears. Actually had less than 50% wear. He also lubed the upper A frame that the lube shop had such a hard time with. I'm sure glad I know such a good mechanic. He's taken care of both our motorhomes and always does a meticulous job.
Jerry and I slipped a quick ride in on the motorcycles after that and I was following him. On the way home we noticed his bike was smoking out the left exhaust pipe.. We got home okay and he concluded that it might be a head gasket leaking as we could smell antifreeze. I guess his riding this year is all done. At least he had a nice riding summer. Next week, Michigan weather is taking a dive into the 50's. We're glad to be heading South this week.
We loaded and tied down the Goldwing in the trailer. It was a tight fit but anchored down real nice. I went to the scales and had everything weighed. Our trailer is rated for 3500# and it weighed 3100# . Good to go!! I'll probably add a few more straps to the bike to make me feel better. Springs and shackles and new tires all checked out okay. We're all hooked up and packed up all the outdoor BBQ gear and chairs. The yard is looking bare !
Sat around a bonfire after our busy day. We were all a little teary eyed realizing it was Bon Voyage time. It's been a fast 6 weeks and so totally enjoyable. Terra doesn't want to see us leave, she's so sweet. I think that even their dogs, Ceasar & Browner, detected the overall mood. They were kinda huggy squeezy last night !! LOL.
The weather this morning, Wednesday 9-10-14, is glum. Rain and high 50's with thunderstorms for today so we wont be hitting the road til all this junky weather clears up in a day or so.
Today we'll while away the day surveying the pantry and maybe a trip to the store to replenish some things. I still have to check our fluids. Might be ables to slip that in between raindrops. I still need to take down the satellite dish. I'm glad I left that up last night so we can watch some shows while it's raining. That's a quick job to do.
When we do leave we'll head to Mt. Pleasant Casino. It's a little over an hour away. With any luck we might take some of their loot and pay for the trip South. ( wishful thinking, ehh ??)
Looking forward to writing “travel” blogs. They seem to be more fun for me to do. Wonder where our wanderings will lead us?

Charlie & Heather.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Where's my list...hmmmmmm...WHERE'S MY LIST ?????
Somehow or other I've lost my list!! Oh My, how shall I ever prepare for getting on the road?? I just know I'm gonna forget something...oh yeah, I'm not packing for a vacation or snowbird trip. I forgot we're full timers. Everything is already onboard. WHEWWWW!! Had me excited there for a minute !!
Can you remember preparing for full timing? We musta had 20 lists going. Glad those days are over.
That doesn't totally mean you can go brain dead. The common and normal things need attention. Ya gotta check Oil, battery water, trans fluid, air pressures, lights checked, pack up the outdoor gear, clean the windows, wipers okay, H2O full, everything battened down, road trip planned, weather reports, wife onboard?, etc.
Been watching the weather for later in the week and it doesn't look promising. Might have to delay a day or two. We're used to those glitches. It's GREAT to have jello plans.
Fellow bloggers, Old Fat Man (http://ofmadventures.blogspot.com/) & Billy Bob (http://billybobsplace.blogspot.com/) , are trying to look forward to their winter trips. If Billy Bob gets his Back fixed it'll be a lot better winter. Have you ever checked out any other blogs? They are fun to read. Go to http://www.hitchitch.com/links.html and pick a site at random if you ever want to be inspired to travel.
I installed all the anchoring points for the Honda Golwing in the trailer today. Since it weighs about 900#'s I made sure all of them were into the steel braceing. I'm always amazed how many tools I can get out for such a trivial project ! It took almost as much time to put away tools as the whole job took ! It's going to be a tight fit but that means it can't fall over. I think I'll have some muscle nearby for the 1st loading and unloading. ( can ya tell I'm nervous ??) Tomorrow I'll go and have the trailer weighed before I load up to be sure it's not going to be overloaded.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, we should get the front brakes replaced by Jerry. Weather is supposed to be great. While we have the front end lifted I'll lube the upper “A” frame lube fittings as the lube shop kid said they didn't take a lot of grease. ( they never do, without lifting the rig) Hell, I've known that for years ! Kids!!! Hrphhh! The lube shop always think I'm giving them a hard time when I ask them to count the lube fittings. There are 24 of 'em on this rig. Amazing how many time they can't find them all !
Ms. Heather and I are looking forward to getting on the road again.

Charlie & Heather

Monday, September 8, 2014

Time is flying...the last week in Houghton Lake, Mich.

WOW !! Hard to believe that August is gone already. It seems like we just got here. Many wonderful days and nights all month. Our moochdocking hosts, Jerry & Terra, have definitely made us feel at home.
Every Wednesday we've managed to visit with our friend Dora and stay camped in her yard. Have seen a lot of friends there too.
Heather & I started our full time adventure from Houghton Lake so it's our “homebase”. After many years here we made a lot of connections and so we have really enjoyed being here for over a month.
the hitch itch has started and the nights are getting cooler so it's that time of the year to migrate once again.
I'm guessing it'll take a week or two before we pull out of Michigan as we have plans to do some more visiting as we wind Southward. Mt Pleasant / Lansing / Croswell / Port Huron area are all good possibilities. Our regular blog readers know what a jello plan is like !
We managed to get a few field trips into our agenda while we were here. Visited Heather's dad, my friend Fred & family, took a camping trip at Reedsburg Dam Park.
My buddy Jerry put new rear brakes on the rig yesterday. It took almost all day. I got worn out watching him ! We checked the brakes before our out West trip about 2 years ago and those mountains really did a job on the pads. I was almost ashamed when he tore them down and we saw some cracks in the shoe pads and they were all worn really thin. He also installed all new return springs. Those rear wheel drums and the tires are really heavy and awkward to lift on & off, his back was talking to him today. In a few days he's going to check out the front brakes.
I've been “practicing” riding our, new to us, Honda Goldwing. It's been a few years since I rode a motorcycle and this one is a lot heavier than any I've driven. I've put on about 80 miles and I'm getting the hang of it. Jerry has a Goldwing and he's been playing Guardian Angel on the rides. I do believe I've seen a few smirks on his face while watching the “novice” !! I'm not as comfortable as one of my fellow bloggers, Retired Rod, is ,yet. (but I will be!!)
One of the big projects will be loading and fitting and tying down the 900# Goldwing in the trailer. I've got to install some heavy duty tie downs too. That oughta be interesting!
If I don't drive it thru the trailer I've got it made!! Of course there's the issue of unloading it too. Hmmmm!! How do you maintain balance while backing it down a ramp???
I made a trip to Home Depot to buy the gear to tie down the Goldwing in the trailer. I love Home Depot ! Wandered out about $40 poorer but I'm sure we will be able to secure the 900# beast. I'll post some before and after pictures when that project is done.
Yesterday my nose decided it was a good time to bleed. WTH is that all about?? I got a little concerned because it went on for hours. I checked my BP and it was normal for me. Finally about 6PM it stopped. Heather had to cook dinner due to this problem and I may have her do the grilling more often. We had grilled steak, campfire potatoes and our friend/host,Terra, made a nice pasta salad. Had a few people over for dinner and I was a bit embaressed with tissue up my nose, but it didn't interfere with my appetite.
On Sunday, our friend Dora is going to make up some snacks and we've invited a few close friends to meet up at The Back Door Saloon for a goodbye party. Parting is such sweet sorrow!