Winding down....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our time here in Jamestown is finally winding down. We leave on Friday, headed Celina OH for the Gypsy Journal Rally. We've missed them the last two years since the one in Elkhart, IN in 2010. Anxious to see everyone and have a laughing good time and even learn something along the way. This is our favorite RV rally, we call it the non-rally rally. LOL!

From there we are heading to Elkhart, IN for a couple of weeks. We have repairs scheduled at Mor-Ryde on the 24th, hoping to get the last of our suspension issues fixed. Time will tell. After that we go back to Maryland for the month of October. We'll do the annual Red Helmet Ride, visit family, stick in a few doctor appointments and top it all off with the Halloween themed wedding of Stu's youngest daughter.

Then it's back here to Jamestown for November and on into December, at least until the weather gets too cold. After that we head south to Florida for the winter, staying at Bee's RV Resort in Clermont again. I guess we're in a winter rut but Bee's is convenient and reasonably priced. We like the campground and everyone is friendly...and they all love Sadie. LOL!

If you remember, I did a lot of pre-blogging with our A-Z of Us posts so I could concentrate on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write a novel in a month, well, at least 50,000 words of a novel. I had signed up for the month of August and my 50k was validated this weekend. I managed to write 50k words of my novel in 19 actual writing days. That allows me to claim the title of WINNER. I still have another 10-15k to write, then the edits will start. My final goal is to have the book up on Amazon by sometime in November. Phew!

How time flies....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It seems like only yesterday that we arrived here in Tennessee. We spent about six weeks at Maple Hill Campground (waving HI to Betty and Klaas DeJong), then we moved to our property for another month with one more week to go.

All our utilities are in for our RV site, including a landline so we could have DSL for our Internet. Unfortunately, our Verizon coverage this far out of town is very iffy. The DSL is great and I can finally get a little more up to date.

So here are some highlights of our time here in TN.

We got a shed which gave us a spot to park the bikes, put our storage stuff and give Stu a workshop.




Stu bought a dump wagon to help him move things around on our property.


We bought a grill (on sale at Lowe's), loving it!




Stu has put a lot of work into fixing the shed up for him. Here are some before photos.




Here are some after photos.






Of course, we now separate, recycle and burn the rest of our trash. Got to love country living.


We've had great weather in the evenings, nice to sit outside and enjoy the sounds and smells.


Stu has enjoyed being able to work on our vehicles. Today he built ramps for Freddie the Freightliner. Of course they are too heavy to move without a handcart...but they worked perfectly.




Sadie loves being here and playing with her BFF, Keta. Sticks are to play with, chase, chew on...




See her smile?


Yup, we now look forward to returning this November...


We've got DSL, finally!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

[source]
I hope to get photos uploaded and post a good update before the week is out, now that we have DSL on the property. WOOT!!! Thanks for you patience.

Oh, the book is coming along, too. Should hit my goal of 50k in plenty of time to qualify as a winner at Camp NaNoWriMo. Then the hard work starts....editing. ;-)

Zippo & Zion

Monday, August 20, 2012

I know, I've already done Zion so it will be the bonus link (to photos). Zippo is new, even thought we covered PA before.

Zippo Lighters have been around for a long time and even though they aren't used much in the US anymore, they are overseas and they have a HUGE collector base. They are located in Bradford, PA and the tour is free. But even if there were a small charge, it would be worth it to see the collections and displays.

The first time I visited Zippo, my late husband and I were living just outside Bradford. In fact our first ever motorcycle poker run started out at Zippo. But back to the tour, this was around 2001 and the main display was WWII and Korea based as well as a movie section. Amazing display.

When Stu and I visited in 2008, the movie section had been expanded and the war display updated. It was still amazing and worth the time to visit.

BONUS: Zion National Park

Yearly and Yellowstone

Saturday, August 18, 2012

There are a couple of things we try to do yearly, while some we've only done once and might or might not do again (Quartzsite, Daytona Bike Week, Sturgis Bike Week to name a few).

Both of our annual events are related to Stu's career as a firefighter for Anne Arundel County (MD). The first is the annual Retired Anne Arundel County Firefighter Reunion, traditionally held in Kissimmee, FL. This works well for us when we winter in Florida but we have also flown in from San Diego when we were staying in Yuma one winter.
2009 ~ 2010 ~ 2011 ~ 2012
      The other annual event is the Red Helmet Ride in honor of all the fallen firefighters. The ride starts at one gathering spot, Walkersville has been used the last few years, and the group (usually over 500 bikes) continue to the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD on a police escorted ride. The ride is open to all motorcyclists. The ride is always in October, done on Saturday of the survivor family weekend. From their website:
      All bikers are invited to participate in this show of support for America's fallen fire heroes and their survivors.
      2008 ~ 2009 ~ 2010 ~ 2011 

      BONUS: Yellowstone 2005 Donna by motorcycle, by RV 2008, 2010

      Xotic and Xtreme

      Thursday, August 16, 2012

      Okay, so I'm stretching things a bit but 'X' was definitely the tough one.

      Xotic - our cruises to Panama and the Western Caribbean can certainly be considered exotic. The flowers, the native residents, the food, the animals, the cultures, the activities. I hope you will take time to view some of the amazing photos I've linked to.

      What are your Xotic and Xtreme adventures?


      BONUS: Zip-line in Hoonah, Alaska

      Weather and Wall SD

      Tuesday, August 14, 2012

      We all love our lifestyle because we can move easily, at least most of the time. But sometimes we can't move or can't move quickly enough and we get exposed to some nasty weather.

      We've sat or driven through:


      What about you? Have you had to deal with severe weather or have you been able to move/out run it?

      BONUS: Wall, SD

      Vacations and Vermont

      Sunday, August 12, 2012


      "Why are you going on vacation? You don't need a vacation? Your life is a vacation?" If you're an RVer, you've heard this before.

      The truth is, while we have a wonderful life that enables us to travel and see the country, daily life always intervenes. Repairs and maintenance, health and other medical issues, family times - both the good and the bad.

      So, we like to plan at least one vacation a year, sometimes we manage to eke out two. Here are some of our favorites.



      BONUS: Vermont

      Utah and Universal

      Friday, August 10, 2012

      I don't know if this is right but I swear Utah has the greatest number of amazing National Parks in the US. We had planned to visit three of them, Zion - Bryce Canyon - Arches, but the weather refused to cooperate. We had a great time visiting Zion but had to leave early due to rain and then cold weather forced us to drop plans to visit Moab.

      We ended up spending some time in Green River, UT at a campground that was right behind the hotel where I spent several days waiting out the rain on my 2005 motorcycle trips! We will go back and hit some of those great hot spots.

      Oh, never been there? Be sure to try US 89 for a scenic drive.

      BONUS: Visiting Universal Studios with grandgirls

      Texas and Tombstone

      Wednesday, August 8, 2012

      Ahhh, Texas...what a diverse state. We've spent time in:

      There is still a lot of Texas to see...we'd especially like to stay in the Hill Country area and get in some riding there.


      BONUS: Tombstone 2008 / Tombstone 2010

      Solar and Scuba

      Monday, August 6, 2012

      Solar, the sun and harnessing its power. What a perfect thing for RVers. I got my solar system after my first Quartzsite visit and after boondocking there, Stu decided to do the same. Here are the posts about our installations and our setups.




      BONUS: Scuba

      Repairs and Redwoods

      Saturday, August 4, 2012

      Living on the road doesn't mean real life goes away. Repairs on our rolling homes can come more frequently, think of it as driving your house through an earthquake and a hurricane...every time you drive down the highway. Things break plus there is always some sort of scheduled maintenance to be done.

      I am so lucky to be married to someone who has good mechanical skills and who isn't afraid to tackle some pretty nasty roadside repairs. We've survived the following replacements/repairs:


      BONUS: Redwoods

      Quick update from McDonald's

      Thursday, August 2, 2012


      Have photos but they are on the other computer. We now are fully utilitied...septic is hooked up and the shed has power installed. Life is good!

      Today the world's largest yard sale started....US 127 is packed with people and cars. McDonalds is busier than a Saturday date night.

      Oh, and Sadie is having a blast running the legs off her BFF, Keta.

      Will post photos and another update when I can get the pics loaded into SmugMug.

      Donna & Stu

      Quick post from McDonald's

      Have photos but they are on the other computer. We now are fully utilitied...septic is hooked up and the shed has power installed. Life is good!

      Today the world's largest yard sale started....US 127 is packed with people and cars. McDonalds is busier than a Saturday date night.

      Oh, and Sadie is having a blast running the legs off her BFF, Keta.


      Quartzsite and Quirky

      When I started on this A to Z of US, I worried that the letter Q would stump me. How could I have forgotten the RVing mecca of Quartzsite? It's the essence of quirky, with a dash of flea market, a splash of RV dealers and a splosh of RV/camping vendors all mixed with thousands of RVs either in the local RV parks or boondocking in the desert.

      Everyone needs to experience it at least once. Most either love it or hate it. I loved it and couldn't wait to introduce it to Stu. Here are some blog posts and photo links from my visit as well as ours.
      BONUS: Quirky