Turned off and down flat....

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bet that title's got you thinking.....LOL! Started shortly after midnight Thursday (or should I say Friday). Getting ready for bed, I walked into the bathroom and the first thing I noticed was that my motion sensor nightlight didn't come on. I turned on the overhead and checked it out, thinking the bulb must have burned out. The bulb looked fine but I figured I change it out in the morning. Did my routine and headed to bed.

Hmmmm, my alarm clock wasn't lit. Okay, so maybe the bulb was okay and my power was off. Walked out to the living room and sure enough, the light was off on the TV. As I turned back to the bedroom to check the circuit breakers, I noticed the microwave light was still on. Stranger yet...

All the circuit breakers were fine but I flipped each one off and back on...no change. Okay, it's after midnight and it's COLD outside so figured it would wait till morning to try to figure out what was going on.

Morning came and as I did my morning bathroom routine (trying to do go into TMI here...LOL!) Still no power except the microwave...which made me think to see if the outlet over the sink had power. Plugged my cell phone into the charger and sure enough...it worked. Okay, so why would the microwave and the outlet over the sink work but all other outlets not? Back to the bathroom on a whim...pulled the nightlight and looked at the GFI. Sure enough...it was popped. Reset it and VOILA! Everything back to normal...

No idea why it popped (since all I had done was turn off my reading light and the TV before going into the bathroom), but at least now I know what to do if it happens again. So now on to the rest of my Friday morning....

One thing I had forgotten to mention about picking up my RV. I had asked the folks to check the air in all my tires as well as my air bag, just so I would be set to head north. They did and all should have been fine. As I worked to reset out all my dash/console items, once I had them in place I plugged them in. This included my Pressure Pro system. (I always plug it in at least 10 minutes before departing, giving the monitor time to pick up the readings.)

Next thing I know, one tire is alarming....it says it only has 55# (should have been 80). I go out with my tire gauge and sure enough, the tire is low. I go inside to see if they have a portable compressor and the owner assures me they did air up the tire and asks if I have a slow leak. They don't have a portable compressor and since I was in the middle of getting ready to leave, I opted to just air it up with my portable one even though I knew it would take a little time.

The trip up to Williams was fine except BOTH my inner duals alarmed at 92-94# (still need to find out why they are doing that - not sure what could be causing the pressure increase and have talked to the McFalls about it before). I stopped in a rest area for a break and they both settled back down to 82-84# and I finished the trip uneventfully. The outer dual that had been low stayed up just fine.

Fast forward to Friday morning....feeling cocky because I fixed my power issue without having to call in outside help, I step outside. Hmmmm, the coach seems to be leaning a bit more than it was when I checked in. Figured my air bag was the cause since it still has its own slow leak. Check it out and find it's not low by much but put some more air in. Still leaning....I glance down at the tire. Remember that outer dual that was low....well now it's all but flat. Sigh....

I call up to the campground office to see if they know of someone local that might be able to fix it (assuming I picked up a nail or something) or put on my spare if not. Turns out less then 1/4 mile away there was a shop. I called them and they told me to carefully drive it over. Sigh...have to reverse all the stuff I just did the night before to get settled. Figures....

So I drive over and they pull the tire. No sign of a nail or damage so into the tank it goes. Hmmm, no immediate apparent leak so they suspect it must be a small one. As they continue to search I wander into the attached convenience store and get a soda. When I come back out they have found the leak. It was at the back end of the valve extender....and only apparent when in the mounted position with pressure on the tire.

They call the local NAPA store and they don't carry the large extender that I need. But fortunately the shop mechanic found one on an old tire and it appears to be in excellent condition. They put it on and test it....no leaks and it's long enough (barely). They remount the tire and I ask how much. He hems & haws and says, "How about $15?". I reply, "How about $20 and you don't have to make change." He says, "If that's what it's worth to you....". Heck yeah it was!

I start to back up and something feels funny. Next thing I know it feels like I'm driving on a completely flat front tire. I pull back in. They know immediately what it is. There is something like a dowel that keeps the duals running together. Sometimes it isn't so easy to get it in place and aligned....thus my "Mister Toad's Crazy Ride" feeling. They quickly jacked it up again, took the tire off, realigned it and remounted the tire. We laughed as I told them they had just earned the extra $5.

Backed out...no problems....back to the campground and settled back in...again. See what fun this is? LOL!

The campground filled up to over 50% on Friday. Lots of trailers, a few fivers and one new motorhome. Definitely a lot of weekend campers....several of whom seemed to know each other and gathered in groups.

The motorhome pulled out this morning, sometime after dark a trailer pulled into the empty spot beside me, and the park has continued to fill up today. Definitely a different feeling than the campgrounds I was in last fall and early winter. Different place...different time.

Today has been a veg day, reading a good book and relaxing. It's 80, sunny and breezy. On Monday I plan to go out to visit the couple of boondocking spots that have been passed along to me...figure the weekenders will be gone then and I can better plan for a place to head to on Thursday. Just going to enjoy the weekend....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Where did she go?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sorry for being so MIA....life goes on. I've forgotten most of what happened since I last posted other than Memorial Day weekend. What beautiful weather we had in Camp Verde. I did get a new neighbor, a young family in a large pop-up with 3 or 4 kids (Think they arrived with 3 but left with 4?)

The wife came over then next morning as I was taking out my chairs & tables and apologized for the kids. She said they didn't realize what a quiet park it was....that they had the only kids. I told her it was fine, the kids were really well behaved...and they were. They played Frisbee, they rode their bikes, the whole family went riding, then they loaded up the two cars with all the bikes and fishing gear for a day trip. (I think that is when the extra child arrived...probably a friend for the son to keep him company.) It was really nice to see the parents out their playing with the kids, enjoying their time with them.

The day they were gone, I had a surprise visitor. I was sitting in the sun enjoying it and a book when something caught the corner of my eye. As I turned, I heard a buzzing sound...it was a scooter! It was my friend Ron, who was bus camping in a friend's yard in the Camp Verde area. I hadn't seen him since the Gypsy Journal Rally in Casa Grande last February. We sat and talked for several hours before he headed out to check on a boondocking spot on the way to Cottonwood.

Anyway, the weekend was beautiful and I enjoyed doing a little sightseeing and a lot of relaxing & reading. Come Tuesday I leave Rancho Verde RV Park (would definitely visit again - WONDERFUL park, the hosts are magnificent) and head up the road the couple of miles to HEFR (Hansen Enterprises Fleet Repair) where I will leave the motorhome for hopefully 2 days (one overnight).

Around 3 pm, after doing more sightseeing (left the camera in the RV, dang it!) and a little reading with a cup of coffee at McD's, I headed over to the Super8 where I had made a reservation. Got myself checked in and enjoyed a few movies on HBO, a change from reading. LOL! Around 4 pm I called to see if they thought they would be done sometime on Wednesday. It turned out that it was going to be iffy....there was a chance they might have it ready by 4:30 but couldn't guarantee it. Rather than pick it up late IF it was done, then find a place to park for the night since I wouldn't leave that late in the day, I opted to stay in the hotel a second night and pick it up this morning (Thursday).

So today I got up early, enjoyed a second LONG, HOT SHOWER, grabbed a quick McD breakfast and then headed over to pick up the Lily Pad. Got over my heart attack at the bill total, they did a lot and the quality of the work was obvious, and sat in the parking lot getting things squared away inside. Hooked up the car and hit the road about 11:30, headed back to Williams.

Ron had wanted me to come towards Cottonwood and try out the boondocking there but with the temps moving rapidly into the 90's again tomorrow, I opted to head to the mountains again. I'm back at the Canyon Motel & RV Park (where we had the motorcycle gathering) and have ordered my mail shipped here, a good reason to stay in one spot for a couple of days.

I will take the care and check out some of the boondocking spots I've seen mentioned and if I find one I like, I'll spend a second week here but boondocking.

Oh, remember my bicycle shopping ramblings? Well my friends Nick & Terry Russell have been doing the physical shopping and were having the same problems. In today's blog, Nick posted that they have found their bikes and ordered them. I know I'll keep looking out for one that will work for me as well.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Heroes Gone But Not Forgotten

Monday, May 26, 2008

by Jill Eisnaugle

Heroes gone but not forgotten
Each one resting in a field
Where the daffodils of summer
Bow their heads, sadness to yield
Soldiers gone, but not our freedom
Sacrifices dually made
In the name of peace and progress
Bravery rests beneath the shade.

On this day, we must remember
All the troops from all the wars
With thanks for their selfless service
Miles away on barren shores
Each battled boldly for the cause
Calm and harmony their goals
Therefore with Taps in mind, we pause
Honoring these valiant souls.

Heroes gone, but kept in memories
Every time Old Glory waves
Patriots for independence
Resting in eternal graves
‘neath the vast and sprawling wonder
Of the brilliant skies in May
We’ll pay everlasting homage
To them, on Memorial Day.

Just hopping on through....

Friday, May 23, 2008

This has been a lazy week for me, a much needed lazy week. I've done a little sightseeing, a little visiting with the locals, a lot of reading and even more not much of anything. LOL! Thus no blogging till today....when it is pouring off and on.

Okay, I arrived on Monday and checked into the great little campground, Rancho Verde RV Park, here in Camp Verde. I would come back here anytime...the owners are wonderful, they work very hard to keep the grounds in tip-top condition. Always checking to see if anything is needed...I've seen them hand delivering mail rather than having folks come to the office. Nice!

Tuesday I pulled out and headed over to HEFR (Hansen Enterprises Fleet Repair - and yes, they DO pronounce it 'heifer' and have cow stuff scattered around the office). I met with the owner, John, we got the information from the motorhome and headed back inside. In a very short time John introduced me to Dave, the service tech who would be caring for my rig. He sat patiently listening to my tale of woe, asking questions and then went to bring in my rig.

While he was inspecting & evaluating, I talked with John about getting some new mirrors for the RV. Mine are manual, which is okay, except they keep vibrating to new and not so usable positions. That means stopping, adjusting and continuing. I'll never forgot coming into Tucson for the first time...my passenger side mirror was completely unusable. As I got off the exit I watched the light and kept saying, "Turn red, turn red, turn red.....". It did...I threw it into park, jumped out, ran around the front of the RV, adjusted the mirror, ran back, smiled and shrugged at the folks in the car beside me, jumped back in, shifted back into gear...all before the light changed. Phew! NOT something I like to do very often...

So, back to the mirrors. Several folks had recommended Velvac mirrors but I had never quite figured out what I needed when on their website. I told John what style I was looking for (built-in convex mirror on the bottom) and he set to work finding out what to get and where they might be available. Long story short....can't replace just the mirrors anymore. They've 'upgraded' their design and I would have to replace the arms as well. So my $500 mirrors would now be almost $1000. Guess I'll keep on jumping out and adjusting as needed.

The weather Wednesday was the best of the week. Monday & Tuesday saw temps in the low 100's. Yesterday and today it has rained off and on....just when you think the sun is out for good, it suddenly starts to rain again. I thought it would be a good day to do my laundry....seems like everyone else thought so, too. So I'll wait...LOL!

Today the park handyman came by to work on my storage bay...I heard him outside but I wasn't dressed yet (loving these sleep in till 8 mornings). After dressing I went outside and saw that it was open...and the lock didn't look new. Hmmmm.... Later I was on the phone and he knocked at the door and asked for my keys. He had managed to pop it and keep the lock! WHOO-HOO!!! I'll never jam the table in there again....LOL! Live and learn....

Okay....heading back to veg and read for a bit....enjoy the holiday weekend but remember the reason we have one. My heart goes out to those who have given their lives so we can remain free.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

PS. The frog photo was taken at my house in TN...couldn't resist it!

This 'n that and other stuff....

Monday, May 19, 2008

First, for those who read my blog at My Prime Years, my apologies for not getting your comments posted more quickly. Guess there was a Gmail disconnect because I didn't get notices and only by accident found about 10 backlogged comments. I actually publish my blog in two spots, My Prime Years and Froggilady. I do this as a backup...the blogs at Froggilady are actually stored at Blogger.com while the ones at My Prime Years are done with WordPress are on my own server. So there are always two sets of comments to deal with...I will try to remember to manually check the WordPress comments.

I did get moved to Camp Verde today...nice little campground. I had opted for the cheaper water & electric site since I knew I would dump before I left but when I went there it turns out that the trees would completely block my satellite....so I moved up to the main area and a full hookup spot. I still have trees to help shade but they are in the other direction.

It's hot...over 100 forecast for today and tomorrow. I ran the generator on the way down, both to keep the RV cool as well as give the generator it's monthly run. The trip was a little over 90 minutes and I made no stops. Getting moved out this morning wasn't too bad except for the heat. I dumped, unhooked, checked tires & airbags, put air in my left air bag, ran the engine for 10 minutes to check the tranny fluid, added the quart I had bought, checked again and it registered, set up the newest replacement Brake Buddy and headed out.

I checked under the RV when I stopped....a little dribbling but not major spot. Guess the shorter trip helped. Tomorrow I have an appointment at HEFR in Camp Verde and we'll see what they say. Whatever it is will be labor intensive, I already know that. LOL!

Have to say how much I love the ease of hooking/unhooking the car. The only hassle has been replacing the Brake Buddy twice. Both units had one of the silver clips break off the 12-volt adapter. Seems they had a problem with a batch of units....I managed to get two of them. Have to say that my contact at the parent company, Hopkins Mfg, has gone above and beyond to help. No hassle service and QUICK. Now if this one will just continue to behave.....

You knew it was coming, didn't you...today's defugalty. LOL! I have one very large storage back at the back of the motorhome. It goes in under the bed but that end is shallow, the outside end is deep. I use it to store all my chairs, tables, solar lights, Power Surge connector/adapters, laundry items and much, much more. This morning I was stashing everything in there, the last item was a little plastic folding table. You know the kind, they fold in half and are handy beside your chairs.

Well, I arrive and go to open the bin to get my Power Surge connector. It won't unlock...I keep trying. No go. I try another compartment, no problem. Hmmmm, what is up with this? The campground owner comes over and he tries it. Still no go. He offers to have the local handyman stop over. An hour or so later, he comes by. Same thing...he surmises that the table dropped down over the lock and is jamming it. Sigh...hoping that moving it tomorrow might dislodge it but I doubt it. Wednesday or Thursday the handyman will come back and drill it out, replacing it with another. Just what I need....another key to keep track of! Jeesh....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

The love affair with life....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I found this on a wonderful blog I follow, Sean & Louise's 'Our Odyssey' and just had to post it here as well. Enjoy!

The great affair, the love affair with life,
is to live as variously as possible,
to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred,
climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day.

Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding,
and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours,
life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length.

It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery,
but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

~ Diane Ackerman - 'A Natural History of the Senses'

Till next time - keep on rollin',

What a great time!

Sorry for not blogging more...that's what happens when you meet up with a group of friends. In this case, not RVing friends but lady motorcycle friends. Every year the gals from AZ/UT host the Wild West Fest (WWF), formerly called Ravenfest. This year they held it in Williams so I could attend (this is my second one, the first was the year I toured on my motorcycle).

We had gals (and spouses) from CA, UT, NM, KS and AZ....there were three in the campground (including me), the rest were in the hotel (some lucky enough to get to sleep in one of the converted rail cars). Most rode, a couple drove (hard to ride with a 10 month old baby), all came for the fun & companionship.

I had met all but a couple of the gals & their spouses before, so it was great to see them again. Combine with meeting folks I've chatted with for 3-4 years as well as some guest invitees....toss in good food, great music, lots of tasty food & beverages of all types....you get the picture. What a great time!

But it wasn't all fun and games...I spent a good part of today trying to get rid of the motorcycle gear I won't be using. I did pretty well but still have 2 jackets, 3 pairs of boots, chaps, vest, electric gloves and a bunch of smaller stuff to get rid of. But at least I emptied one of the large rolling duffel bags (and got rid of it). LOL! If you look closely, you'll see two tables covered and three chair filled with what's left.

Since the front of my rig gets the afternoon sun, I decided to put the awning out. I carefully checked the forecast...7mph...no problem. So I get the awning out and within an hour a HUGE wind gust comes through and grabs the awning. I run outside and try to figure out what it did and what I need to do to fix it. My friend Sally comes over (her toy hauler is parked just down the hill from me) and between us we get it settled back in. I go back inside since the wind has disappeared as quickly as it came.

An hour later it starts to get windy again and after a few minutes, I figure I'd better pull it up...sun or no sun. I haven't had the awning down in months...since I was in Yuma actually. So I'm struggling to figure out what step I'm missing since it's not going up. An RVer across the way comes over to help and we do the missing step. Then we struggle with getting it to retract and Sally appears. She quickly gets it to retract (thank you!).

It goes up easily (nice when you do all the right things), BUT the wind moved it enough that the arms are now about 2" to one side and it won't snap together. I yank on my side and we feel it shift so we bring it back down so we can start it up again. About half way up the wind starts roaring again so there we stand, me on the back end of the RV on the top of a two-step stool, my neighbor on the front end and Sally in the middle....all holding on for dear life so the wind doesn't totally destroy the awning. Finally it passes, we get the awning up and I strap it down. Glad the cameras weren't anywhere near us! LOL!

Everyone is leaving tomorrow except me, most first thing in the morning. Will be a quiet afternoon while I pack everything up so I can leave for Camp Verde on Monday morning.

Till next time - keep on rollin',


Meandering Thoughts.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why is it so hard to get a good haircut when traveling? They never want to cut my hair short enough.....I have to keep pushing them. LOL! I guess the good thing is that folks continue to tell me they love my haircut. So far I've used one mall salon, one Wal-Mart salon and two local shops.

Ocular migraines are a pain....well, mine usually aren't painful but when they happen I can't read or be on the computer for the 20-30 minutes they last. It's like having a kaleidoscope inside your eye. Nothing serious, just have had them two days in a row....maybe sinus related since I'm in the middle of pine trees.

Hats....hats and sunglasses. I love them....I don't wear them often enough, the hats that is. Going to try to wear them more...or else they have to do. RVers try to get rid of things they haven't worn or used in a year. EEEK!

When a campground rule says no feeding the wildlife, does that include the birds? I love being able to put out a birdfeeder or two (including hummingbird feeders) and a pie plate with water for them. Guess I need to ask next time I see this rule.....

This weekend is my lady motorcycle gathering here in Williams. We have about 20 women riders, 10 spouses and one baby coming from CA, NM, CO, UT & AZ. It will be fun, even if I am without a bike. But I suspect this may be my last motorcycle gathering...being bikeless makes it much harder to stay connected. I'll still visit the forums and I'll never forget the friends I've made...some for life.

Where to next? First stop will be Camp Verde where I hope to get my transmission fixed. Today I was working on my expenses and budgeting.....not a pretty site with all the repairs & maintenance costs this year....then factor in setting up the RV & car for towing. Sigh...but it's better to know where I stand so I can tighten the belt as needed. I have several annual memberships that may go by the wayside next year. I will be shopping for cheaper auto insurance for sure. I can drop to a lower level of DirecTV shows. But I won't, I absolutely WON'T give up my Internet. LOL!

Oh, I was supposed to be talking about where....after Camp Verde I will head north. I plan to spend a couple of weeks just north of Denver. I'll visit family and get some other personal things done. I need to settle on a base for getting a checkup and prescriptions renewed. Since I no longer have medical insurance it needs to be where I can find a good walk-in type clinic with reasonable costs. I found one in Branson, MO but that is the wrong part of the country right now. LOL!

How do I manage to get so far behind in email correspondence....if you have emailed me in the last couple of weeks and haven't heard back....hang in there! I will get back to you....but it may be another week. Sorry....honest!

I really miss boondocking but it looks like it may be July before I get to try it again. Too many commitments and things to do right now, as well as temperatures that mean running the A/C. I am NOT a hot weather gal....daytime temperatures in the 60-80 degree range are perfect for me. Once it gets over 82 in the RV, you can count on the air conditioner being turned on. That means running the generator if I'm boondocking, the solar won't run the A/C (or the refrigerator).

I think I could travel around Arizona for a year and still not see everything...and Utah even more so. Than factor in New Mexico and Colorado. Is it any wonder I want to stay out west? Of course there is still WY, MT, ID, OR, WA.......see what I mean? Beauty abounds....

I got on the scales this morning....I am at my max weight. Time to #1) cut back on intake and #2) start WALKING. I bought some very inexpensive walking sticks at Wal-Mart. I also have small hand weights and exercise bands. I really have to get serious...I refuse to buy any larger clothes. Time to start watching craigslist and Freecyle for a good used bicycle....

This all ties into my Diet Coke addiction as well...there are more and more studies showing that we are worse off using sugar supplements. It can increase your weight [ 2008 study - 2005 study ] and even worse, totally mess up your metabolism [ American Heart Assn - Framingham Heart Study ] . I see myself in that picture. I am trying to drink more green tea (hot and cold).

I think I got a mosquito bite on the top of my head the day I was at the Grand Canyon. It still itches.....

So, have I bored you enough yet.....then WAKE UP so I can sign off. LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Winter Wonderland

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008 in Williams, AZ

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Train ride to Grand Canyon

Monday, May 12, 2008

As I posted in 'Where was I', we had an interesting start to the day with the train stopping across the road by the campground to pick us up. They told us to just take a seat anywhere so they could get moving again.

The train ride was fun, mostly thanks to good companions and a great PSA (passenger service attendant) to keep us entertained. We also had a strolling musician come through with his harmonica and guitar.

The trip wasn't the most scenic initially...typical high desert. It eventually got a little prettier with woods, hills and trails. Since it was late morning we didn't see much in the way of wildlife.

We were given a nice box lunch which most ate on the train but I waited till we arrived at the train depot. Found a picnic table, chowed down and then headed up the steps for my first sight of the Grand Canyon (other than from a plane).

We had three hours to hike, visit the historical buildings, learn about the history of the area and, of course, sightsee. Some folks managed to see a mountain lion, several saw the condors that have been re-established in the area, I got to see the squirrels that someone was feeding (against the rules) and a little lizard. LOL!

The train ride home brought more entertainment....same PSA, different musician. It also brought the requisite train robbery. Gotta love masked men with senses of humor...they needed it in our car. One of the SKPs played the part of a 'not all there' individual. Had our PSA rolling on the floor and the robber was speechless.

When we arrived at the RV Park, the train once again stopped at the road crossing to let us off. The locals even stopped to take photos.

We hustled back to our rigs to get our beverage of choice for the late happy hour/social which would be followed by a delicious dinner of chicken/beef Shiskabob, corn on the cob, potato salad and more. YUM! Followed by a delicious carrot cake desert.

The final door prizes were given out (did I mention that I won a HOP jacket at the drawings Friday night? NICE jacket...), the thank you's extended, future plans swapped and hugs exchanged. What a great event it was....the memories will last a long time.

Here is a photo of our HOP hosts enjoying the sights at Grand Canyon.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

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