Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pizza With Mike And Terri and A Doctor's Appointment

Rantoul, IL.

58 deg. clear, W. wind @ 6 mph.
Forecasts =  Partly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 81°F. West wind to 6 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 30%.

Finally!!!! After a whole bunch of prodding, Jim finally got out his camera and took a photo of Terri and Mike Young!!!  I didn't think he was ever going to get a photo of them!!!

Yesterday after lunch, Jim and Linda called Mike and Terri to see if they'd be interested in getting together to have Pizza for dinner? They were up for the idea and they discussed either going out to eat at Monical's Pizza or to order something from them and bring it back here. It was decided that they'd order Pizzas and bring them back here.

So, about 5:30 Mike and Terri came over here, the pizzas were ordered and Jim and Mike took Big RED and picked them up.

While they were gone, Linda and Terri got things ready here at the trailer.

I think everyone enjoyed their food and I know they all enjoyed the visiting during and after the meal. :-) After visiting for awhile, Mike and Terri headed home. (To their 5th wheel trailer). The rest of the evening was spent watching TV.

This morning, Linda has an appointment with her primary care doctor over in Fisher, IL., (The doctor who found Linda's cancer last August).  She'll be getting a blood test so she won't be able to eat or drink anything before they go. That's OK though, they;ll probably head over to the Blue Star Family Restaurant for breakfast right after the appointment. ;-)

No other plans for today. The weather has been great around here the last few days, so maybe Jim will do something outside.

Did you know that Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Dave and Dee Dee Stop By and Happy Hour With Mike And Terri

Rantoul, IL.

60 deg. partly cloudy, NW wind @ 6 mph.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy. Highs around 73°F. North northwest wind to 14 MPH, gusting to 21 MPH.

We had some pretty strong storms roll through this area Saturday evening. That was to be expected though as Saturday was real hot and humid and the forecasters were saying that there was a cold front coming down from the Northwest. We were lucky though, the heaviest storms passed just to the South of Rantoul. Yesterday was very windy with showers off and on. Again, the heaviest rain showers just missed us, this time, to the North.

Sometime during the late morning, yesterday, the phone rang and it was Terri. She wanted to know if Linda was up to coming over to their site about 4 or 4:30 for a "happy hour"? Linda said that it sounded like fun so plans were made to go over to Mike and Terri's around 4:30.

Then, around noon the phone rang again and it was Dave and Dee Dee, You long time readers will remember them. They're part of the "Illinois Bunch" and were the ones that had the great fish fry down in Tampa this last winter that Jim and Linda went to. Well, they were up in Kankakee, IL, (which is North of here), and were heading home to their house in Neoga, IL., (which is South of here), and called to find out if it would be alright if they'd stop by for a little while, on their way?

Linda told Dave that we'd love to have them stop by and visit. So, about an hour later, they pulled up along side of Big RED and came inside.

It was sure great to see them again and after a "nickel tour" of Nora they sat and visited for an hour or so. They've traded their large 5th wheel trailer for a travel trailer, and have a smaller pick-up truck ordered. (You don't need a big dually truck to pull a travel trailer). They're wanting to come here to Prairie Pines for while sometime in September, and it sounds like Denny and Bev, (more of the Illinois bunch), may be coming too. And even Gordy and Dorthy, (the rest of the Illinois bunch), may come down for a day. :-)

Gordy and Dorthy have sold their Motorhome because Gordy's health is not very good anymore and Dorthy has also had some medical problems also, but if they can they'll drive down for a day.

After Dave and Dee Dee left, Jim took a little nap and then about 4:30 he and Linda headed over to Mike and Terri's. They had a great time visiting and ended up staying for a couple hours. ;-)

By the time they left, it was fairly late, so they took Big RED and headed over to Arby's, picked up a couple roast beef sandwiches and brought them back here for dinner.

Linda's doing fine. She only had one severe dizzy spell as they were leaving Mike and Terri's. She was fairly tired by the time they got home, but said that she felt fine and was really glad that they went.

Thanks, Dave and Dee Dee and Mike and Terri!!!!!

No plans that I know of for today. I guess we'll just wait and see what happens. ;-)

 Did you know that on this date in 1896 - The city of Miami, FL, was incorporated?


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Blue Star Restaurant and Making Appointments

Rantoul, IL.

67 deg. mostly cloudy, no wind.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 90°F. Heat index around 104°F. South wind to 7 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 55%.

Haven't posted for the last few days cause there really hasn't been much to post about. Wednesday evening, Big RED took Jim, Linda, Mike and Terri over to Fisher, IL to the little family restaurant over there. Jim and Linda were surprised when they walked in because there were a lot of changes and in fact, the restaurant changed hands!!

It's now called the Blue Star Restaurant.

It was OK, though, the food was good, the prices still reasonable and they had a waitress that did a fine job making sure they had the food and drinks that they wanted. Of course the best part of the meal was visiting with Mike and Terri and catching up on past adventures. ;-)

We haven't seen much of Mike and Terri the last few days. They've been busy and Jim and Linda have been busy trying to get doctor's appointments scheduled as well as recuperate from the trip up here.

Linda's doing fine, and I think the dizziness may be getting a little better. Yesterday, she and Jim went to the Post Office and Linda walked out to the truck and back to the trailer without getting too dizzy.

Don't know of any earthshaking plans. Soon, laundry will have to be done and I see a grocery run coming up. Then on Wednesday, (the 30th), Linda has an appointment with her Primary Care doctor.

I probably won't be posting every day while we're here in Rantoul. There's just not that much to post about, but I'll keep you up-to-date on anything important that comes along.  

Did you know that today is "National Dance Day"?


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back in Rantoul IL

Rantoul, IL (Prairie Pines CG)

74 deg. partly cloudy, NE wind @ 13 mph.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 77°F. North wind 11 to 16 MPH, gusting to 21 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 55%.

Linda woke up about an hour earlier than planned so by 8:55 we were pulling out of the Hilltop CG near Goreville. Just outside of the park, we turned onto the entrance ramp for I-57 North. 57 was a pretty good road, (except for the bridge approaches), and we made good time, even though we did have a few fairly short construction zones.

When we got up to Tuscola, we pulled into a truck stop and Jim bought Big RED a nice big drink of #2 diesel. He was pretty thirsty because the last drink that he had was way back in Clarksville, TN.

Once Big RED had his drink we continued on I-57 up here to Rantoul and the Prairie Pines Campground. When we pulled up in front of the office, it was 12:45, so we had been on the road for about 3 hours and 50 minutes and traveled 221 miles.

Louise was waiting for us and led us right to site #23.  Jim has always said that he thought 23 was his favorite site and this year, Louise was able to save it for us. :-)

Here's a few photos of our site.
Viewed from the street

View from patio looking towards the street. That's the bath house/laundry across the street on the right.

Our back yard.

View from back yard. Those big trees on the awning side of Nora are on the South side, so they provide very good shade during the hottest part of the day.

As you can see, the sites are huge and for the most part very level. All the sites are Pull-through and Paul and Louise know which ones you need to park on to avoid problems with the trees if you have satellite.  

When we drove into the park, I saw a 5th wheel trailer and truck that looked very familiar. And, it should have, because it belongs to  Mike and Terri Young, very good RVing friends that Jim and Linda have known for quite a few years. We haven't been able to meet up with them much lately, but this summer, they've been spending some time in IL. and decided to stay here at Prairie Pines for awhile.

After Jim got Nora unhooked from Big RED and set up, they came by to bring Linda a card, wish her a Happy Birthday and to visit for awhile. I find it amazing that even though RVers may not see each other for a long time, they seem to just pick up the conversation right where they left off the last time they visited. ;-)

I think RVers, especially full-time RVers, are a little different breed. ;-)

Tentative plans have already been made with Mike and Terri to go out to eat today. And, I'm sure there will be a lot more visiting and catching up on what's happened lately while they're here.

A little later, Paul and Louise also stopped by to bring Linda a card, wish her a Happy Birthday. see Nora and to visit, but they couldn't stay to visit because a RV came into the park and they had to go to register it and lead it into a site. :-(

I'm sure Jim and Linda will be visiting with them soon though.

Just one last thing!  Linda wants to thank everyone who called, e-mailed, left a blog comment or came over to wish her a Happy Birthday!!!! It really did mean a lot to her to hear from all of you.

Thank you!!!!

Did you know that the world's first Skyscraper was built in Chicago, in 1885?


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tennessee To Kentucky To Illinois and H.B.L.

Goreville, IL (Hilltop CG)

65 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs around 90°F. Heat index around 99°F. East southeast wind 1 to 6 MPH.

There really wasn't any hurry, so it was about 9:40 when we pulled out of the Clarksville CG. Once back on I-24, we continued NW through Kentucky and into Illinois.

24 in Kentucky was quite rough in places and there were some spots where the pavement was broken and potholes had developed. 24 in Illinois was OK except for the bridge approaches, which has, for as long as I can remember, been a problem. :-(

As we crossed into IL, we stopped at the Welcome Center Rest Area for a "pit stop" and to check if everything was OK after the rough sections of road in KY. Everything was fine and soon we were turning off of I-24 at exit #7. Once off of the Interstate, we turned West on Tunnel Hill Road, which took us Rt. 37. Turning North on 37 brought us to the little town of Goreville, where we again turned West on Main St./Goreville Rd. Following Goreville Rd. brought us to Baker Lane and the Hilltop CG, which is just before you get ti I-57.

If you have a Big Rig, you might want to take I-24 up to I-57 and then come back down on 57 to the CG. Tunnel Hill Rd. and Goreville Rd. are basically good roads, but they are somewhat narrow, twisty and in places very hilly!!

We like the Hilltop CG, it's a fairly small park and owners and manager are supper nice. They have both back-in and Pull-through sites and it looks like all of them are nice and level. Some have 30 amp electric, and some have 50 amp, and many, if not all are full hook-up.

We're in site #10 and it has some nice big trees for shade, which is nice because the high yesterday was around 90 degrees.

It was 12:05 when we pulled in, so it took us about 2 hours and 25 minutes to travel 138 miles and make the "pit stop". 

Today, we'll be heading for Rantoul, IL. Jim called Louise yesterday morning to give her a "heads up" on our plans, but she already knew we were coming because she was reading yesterday's blog post at the time. ;-) 

It'll be a little over 200 miles up there, but we're not in a big rush and know that we'll have a nice site whatever time we get there.

Oh!!!! And one more thing. Happy Birthday Linda!!!! I'm so glad that were going to be able to make it back to Rantoul for your big day!!!! ;-)

Did you know that more people celebrate their birthdays in August than in any other month? The two other months in which birthday rates are high is July and September.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Alabama To Tennessee and Plans

Clarksville, TN. (Clarksville RV Park and Campground)

64 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy. Highs around 91°F. Heat index around 101°F. Light wind.

Again, we got an early start and were leaving the Cullman Campground by 10 minutes after 9:00. It was just a couple miles to I-65, where we turned North and headed up to Nashville, TN. Traffic was fairly light until we were close to Nashville, and then, for a Sunday morning, I thought it was pretty heavy.

We zipped right through the city though and soon we were North of Nashville and looking for the I-24 turnoff. Just before we came to I-24 we ran into a construction area and traffic slowed down somewhat, but the traffic kept moving and soon we were on 24 heading NW towards Clarksville.

24 was good all the way and even though the traffic was quite heavy at times, we kept right on moving at our desired speed of about 62 to 64 MPH.

When we got off of the Interstate at Exit 1, Jim pulled Big RED into another Shell station and filled him up with #2 Diesel. From there it was only about a mile to the Clarksville RV Park and Campground.

It was 12:45 when we pulled up to the office so it took us about 3 hours and 35 minutes to travel 197 miles and stop for fuel.

The Clarksville RV Park and Campground is more expensive than the parks that we usually stay at, ($35 per night), but there really isn't much choice in this area. (We've stayed here before).  Oh, it's a nice park with a swimming pool and lots of other stuff, but I think $35 is really too much for a site with only water and electric.
Site #7

We'll only be staying here one night.

Jim and Linda couldn't decide what to have for dinner, so they started looking through the CG brochure that they received at check-in. In it was an advertisement for Michael's Pizza and it said that they'd deliver to the site. So, Linda gave them a call, ordered a pizza and in about 20 minutes they had a quite good pizza sitting on the table. :-) After eating about 1/2 of it, they put the rest in the freezer and then kicked back and watched TV for the rest of the evening.  :-)

While they watched TV, they were talking and I overheard them discussing travel plans for the next few days. Linda said that she though that if they didn't travel too far tomorrow, she'd like to try to get to Rantoul on Tuesday. Jim said that that wouldn't be a problem as he was already thinking of staying at the CG in Southern Illinois that we stayed at on our way to FL. last August.

That would mean that we'd travel about 135 miles tomorrow and a little over 200 miles on Tuesday.

We can do that!!! :-)

Did you know that the name "Tennessee" originated from the old Yuchi Indian word, "Tana-see," meaning "The Meeting Place?"


Sunday, July 20, 2014

We're Still Here and CG Photos

Cullman, AL. (Cullman Campground)

68 deg. scattered clouds, no wind, humidity, 90%, light fog.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs around 88°F. Heat index around 96°F. North wind to 6 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 35%.

As you can see, we didn't leave Cullman yesterday. The weather continued to look nasty up by Nashville, and we had rain here until just after noon. Besides that, we're really not in much of a hurry. ;-)

After the rain stopped, Jim unhooked Nora from Big RED and then he and Linda took Big Red and headed for a Drug Store. Linda needed a few items so they found a Rite-Aid Store. Then, as long as they were out and about, Jim filed Big RED's tank with #2 diesel fuel at a Shell station which is just East of I-65.

After they returned, Jim hooked Nora back up to Big RED and then got out his camera and took a few photos of the Campground.
Entrance Sign 

Entering the Park

The Office

Our Site #34

For Dinner, Jim got out his grill and cooked a nice thick juicy steak. (Boy it sure smelled good!!!) While it was cooking, Linda cooked some baked beans and made some garlic bread inside. ;-) The rest of the evening was spent watching TV and reading.

I'm quite sure we'll be leaving here today.  I think both Jim and Linda are getting kind of "itchy" to get back to the Prairie Pines Campground in Rantoul. By my calculations, we should get there either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on how Linda feels

.Did you know that today is "National Lollipop Day"?


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Troy AL To Cullman AL and Rough Road And Traffic In Birmingham

Cullman, AL.

69 deg. overcast, no wind.
Forecast = Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 82°F. Heat index around 87°F. South southeast wind 5 to 10 MPH. Chance of rain, 70%.

Linda woke up earlier than usual yesterday morning, so we left the Deer Run RV park about an hour sooner than we normally would have. In fact it was just 8:50 when we pulled back onto US 231 and continued heading NW.

Just before we came to Montgomery, Jim pulled Big RED into a Marathon station and bought him a nice drink of  #2 diesel fuel. Big RED wasn't too thirsty, but being that the rest of the trip would be on Interstate Highways and the skies were starting to look threatening, he though it was a good opportunity to stop.

Come to find out, that was a good decision because once we had taken Taylor Rd. to I-85, taken 85 West for a few miles, turned North on I-65 and had traveled just north of Montgomery, it started to sprinkle or rain off and on for the rest of the trip.

I-65 had a lot of traffic which moved along nicely, but it sure wasn't a road that a driver could relax on. Then, when we got up to Birmingham, the traffic got really heavy and the road surface deteriorated badly. :-(  There was very little construction this time, (We had construction the whole way through the city when we came down here last August), but the road was very rough!! I know that those of you that have large motor homes might not think so, but I just about fell off of the seat a few times!! :-O

I don't know if there's another route we could take to by-pass Birmingham, but you can bet that Jim will be looking into it before we head down through this area again. Our experiences with traffic and roads through there throughout the years has not been good!!

Once North of Birmingham, I-65 smoothed out again and except for the heavy traffic and some fairly heavy rain at times the rest of the trip up here to Cullman went well.

It was right at 12:20 when we pulled up to the office of the Cullman Campground, so today it took us right at 3 1/2 hours to travel 193 miles and stop for fuel.  Not too shabby!!!!

This Campground doesn't get very good reviews on RV Park Reviews but we've been coming here for a long time and have always had a good experience. (Jim didn't take any photos because it was raining.)  Yes, it's not a destination park and the road coming from the main Hwy to the park leaves something to be desired, but if you take it slow, even though it's narrow and hilly, it's very do'able. We were at this park with both Myrddin and Emrys, (40' and 45' Motorhomes, both pulling a toad), and had no problems at all. The owner is supper friendly and escorts you to your site and we've never had a problem leveling. In fact, the site we're in right now, (#34), is almost perfectly level and no blocks or anything were  needed.

I'm not sure if we'll be leaving here today or not. Right now, it's still raining up in Nashville, so we may stay another night. Jim's watching the radar though, and if it clears up, we'll probably head out.

Did you know that today is "National Hot Dog Day"?


Friday, July 18, 2014

GA to AL

Troy, AL. (Deer Run RV Park)

65 deg. clear, no wind, humidity 95%
Forecast = Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 86°F. East southeast wind 1 to 7 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%

Yesterday, we left Thomasville, GA. about 9:40 EDT and continued North on US 19 for a few miles until we came to US 84 on the North side of town. There we turned West on 84 and took it into Alabama and to Dothan, AL., where we by-passed the city on US 431/AL210 until we came to US 231 heading NW.  231 took us up to Troy and then on to the Deer Run RV Park which is about 6  miles North of Troy.

It was 12:50 EDT (11:50 CDT), when we pulled up to the office, so it took us about 3 hours and 10 minutes to travel the 165 miles over here.

We've been to Deer Run before. In fact, we've been coming here since 2008 and stop anytime we cone through this area. It's a little more expensive than the parks that we usually stay at, but it's really nice with pull through sites with cement pads, full hook-ups with 50 Amp electric, shady sites if you want them and very friendly owners.

When we arrived, the weather was so nice. (about 81 deg., low humidity and a nice breeze blowing), that Jim decided that he'd like to cook a couple burgers outside on his grill, so that's exactly what he did. While he was doing that, Linda got out some slaw leftover from the KFC dinner the night before, some chips and drinks.

After dinner, Jim went out and checked Big RED's fluids, checked the hitch, lubed Nora's entrance door hinges and put the grill away. The rest of the evening was spent watching TV.

Linda is doing well. She's been able to take care of most of the "chores" inside when we are arriving or leaving a park. She seems to be really enjoying being out on the road, and in fact, comments frequently how great it is to be traveling again. :-)

Did you know that the toothbrush was invented in 1498?


Thursday, July 17, 2014


Thomasville, GA. (City of Roses RV PK.

70 deg. partly cloudy, no wind, humidity 86%.
Forecast = Partly cloudy. Highs around 91°F. North northwest wind to 7 MPH, gusting to 13 MPH.

As you've probably guessed by now, Jim and Linda decided to stay another day here in Thomasville. No special reason, just decided to stay and kick-back a little.

Since we were staying an extra day, Jim decided to unhook Big Red from the  trailer and head over to the local Lowe's store to purchase a new battery for his DeWALT 1/2 inch electric drill that he uses to raise and lower the stabilizer jacks on the trailer. He's had the drill for years and it still had the original battery, which wouldn't take much of a charge any more.

So, just before noon, he and Big RED headed out. On the way they stopped at a gas station where Jim filled Big RED's tank with #2 diesel fuel and then continued on to Lowe's, which is only about a mile from the park.  After purchasing a new battery, they went to a Publix  grocery store to pick up a few items before coming back here to the park.

The afternoon was spent taking naps and just taking it easy.

While on the way to Lowe's, Jim had spotted a KFC so for dinner he and Big RED went over there and brought back some chicken, mashed potatoes and slaw. After dinner, Jim dumped the black and gray water tanks on the trailer and put the sewer hoses away.

Oh!! You're probably wondering about the title of this post. Well, Linda has decided that "Nora" would be a good name for the travel trailer. She's always liked the name.  Nora is usually and abbreviation of Eleanora which means "light".

I like the name and I think it fits her well. Now I won't have to refer to her as "the trailer" any more. :-)

Welcome, Nora!!!!! :-)

Did you know that  Canadian Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Frederick Banting, discoverer of insulin, sold the rights to the University of Toronto for $1 so that it was available to everyone?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

10 Months and 14 days and FL To GA

Thomasville, GA. (City of Roses RV Park)

75 deg. overcast, no wind. humidity 96%
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 88°F. Heat index around 97°F. West wind to 6 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 35%.

Yep!!! 10 Months and 14 days. That's how long we were in Florida to get Linda's cancer treated. If you count the days from the day she was diagnosed till the day we arrived, you have to add another 9 days onto that, making it 10 Months and 23 days, a total of 327 days.

Anyone who has gone through the diagnosis and the cancer treatments knows what it's like.

First, there's the "I can't believe this is happening to me" stage when you are diagnosed. Then there's the "fear" stage where you realize you have this thing inside of you that may very well kill you!!

Then, you start researching specialist who poke, prod, take X-rays, CAT scans or PET scans,  run a myriad of other tests and finally, after what seems like forever, give you the diagnosis that you were scared to death to hear!!!!

In Linda's case, an exam under anesthesia was needed, then, after multiple doctor's visits, surgery. This would then be followed by Chemo, Radiation and more Chemo treatments. These treatments all have serious side-effects, so there were many  many days of emotional up's and down's,  dizziness, fatigue, the change in appearance, (hair loss and skin changes)  and feeling completely miserable.

If course, there are many doctor's appointments throughout the whole procedure.

And then, there's the family. They're scared too and the main caregiver, in this case, Jim goes through the whole process with the person who actually has the illness.

Finally after all the treatments, you get the final diagnosis, (and hopefully it's a good one), you can start the recovery procedure and start getting back to some kind of normalcy. The recovery from the surgery is long past, but there are still the side effects from the chemo and the radiation treatments that the doctors say may last as long as 1 1/2 years!!!

I'm sure there will be many more doctor appointments throughout the years ahead and I'm sure there will be emotions to deal with before every one of them.

There'll always be that fear that the cancer will return.

Linda's emotions are still right on the edge and when we left the CG in DeBary Monday, she broke down and started crying. I don't think she really knows why, but thinks that it was probably because we were finally RVing again and at times, during her illness, she wasn't sure that we'd ever be on the road again.

Yesterday, we left Chiefland about 9:40 and headed North on US 19. 19 took us up through Cross City and  Perry where we hit some serious thunder storms. In fact, at times we were down to about 40 MPH because even Big RED couldn't see where he was going. By the time we crossed I-10, the rains had subsided and it stayed dry the rest of the way to Thomasville, GA., where we pulled into the City of Roses RV Park.

We have been to the City of Roses RV Park many times before. It's another Passport America park. ($15.00 per night)  It is an old park with quite a few "permanent" RVs but the owner is very nice and always welcomes us back to the park.
It was 12:05 when we arrived, so it took us 2 hours and 25 minutes to travel the  130 miles up here.

As Jim was putting down the stabilizer jacks and hooking up the electric, it started sprinkling again and just after he came inside the trailer, it started raining hard and rained off and on for the rest of the day.  

Did you know that you see your nose at all times, your brain just chooses to ignore it?


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DeBary FL to Chiefland FL.

Chiefland, FL. (Chiefland RV Park.

73 deg. rain w/ thunder and lightning, SE wind @ 4 mph. humidity 99%
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 90°F. Heat index around 102°F. West southwest wind to 9 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 55%.

By the time Jim and Linda got everything packed away for travel, hooked up the trailer to Big RED, stopped by the office at Highbanks to let them know we were leaving, it was 9:41 when we pulled out of the CG.

Once back to US 17, we took it North up to Barberville where we turned West on Rt.40. Just East of Ocala, we turned North again on Rt 326 and followed it first North and then West around the city. When we came to US Alt.27, we turned NW on it and took it up to Williston, where the road turned more Westerly. Then, it was just a matter of following Alt.27 over to Chiefland and the Chiefland RV Park.

It was 12:20 when we pulled up to the office, so it took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes to travel  127 miles and to  stop twice to check the hitch and trailer.

The Chiefland RV Park is not a great park, and it could use some sprucing up, but for only $15.26 for the  night, Passport America discount, you can't really complain. :-)

So, how did the trip go? Well, Big RED did well pulled the trailer easily. There were a few small hills along this route and he went up and down them with no effort at all. The trailer pulled very well. There was absolutely no sway from passing trucks, the equalizing hitch worked as advertised, and everything stayed where it was supposed to inside.

Because of the new trailer and hitch, Jim did stop 2 times to check them, just to make sure everything was OK. Everything was fine and there were no issues at all.

Also, as expected, Linda had no problems. In fact, I think that we could have traveled for another hour or so without any difficulty.

All in all, ti was a very good day and it sure felt good to be back on the road again. ;-)   It's been way to long. I'm hoping that in years to come we'll be able to travel more and more and spend our summers away from the Florida heat and humidity.

Today we'll head up into Georgia. The trip should be about the same distance as yesterday's trip.

Did you know that the speed of a typical raindrop is 17 miles per hour?


Monday, July 14, 2014

0 Days To Launch

DeBary,, FL. (Highbanks CG)

75 deg. clear, no wind, 89% humidity.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 93°F. Heat index around 110°F. South wind to 7 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%.

4 Hours and counting!!! (If everything goes OK,) :-O

I guess I shouldn't be so pessimistic, but after many years of RVing, I know that things can go wrong when it's most inconvenient. :-(

The last few days have been pretty hectic here for Jim and Linda. As usual for this time of year, it's been really hot with high humidity and that means that it's been just too hot to do much outside, except very early in the mornings. So, Jim's been starting out around 6:00 or 6:30 in the morning and Linda's been getting up earlier than usual so that they could get things over here to the trailer before the hottest part of the day.

Even then, it's been very difficult to get things done without getting overheated.

Yesterday morning, it was around 11:00 by the time they got the house ready, closed it up and brought me and the last of the things to take along over here to the CG.  They've gotten everything put away though and now, if all goes well, we'll be out of here somewhere around 10:00 this morning. :-)

We won't be going too far, only about 135 miles or so to a CG in either Chiefland or Old Town, FL. That'll be a nice short day to see how Linda handles the traveling and see how the trailer pulls.

Ashley and Chris came over to say good-bye Saturday. they stayed and visited for a couple of hours before heading back home.

Then, Laura and Lindsey stopped by for awhile yesterday evening to say good-bye. They were also here for a couple of hours before heading home after h and h, (hugs and handshakes), and maybe just a tear or two. :-(

I'm thinking Laura may be a little lonely for awhile because we're leaving today and Ashley and Chris are moving to Jacksonville tomorrow. Chris works for AT&T and was given a promotion to District Manager for the Jacksonville area. He'll have 6 or 7 stores in his district. Ashley works for Home Depot and was able to get transferred to a store over there, so she'll have a job too. Anna, Ashley's sister, already lives in Jacksonville so both girls will be quite a distance away.

Well, I guess I'd better post this. Jim is wanting to pack the computer away and there's quite a few last minute things to do and check. I'll let you know how the day went just as soon as I can.

Did you know that over its lifetime, the average microwave requires more energy to display a digital clock than to heat food?


Saturday, July 12, 2014

2 Days And Counting

DeBary, FL.

73 deg. partly cloudy, no wind, humidity 88%
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 91°F. Heat index around 102°F. South southeast wind 2 to 9 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 35%.

2 days and counting!!!!  ;-)

Not a whole lot to report. Jim and Linda have been packing up "stuff" to take over to the trailer, getting rid of things that will not keep or that will not be needed, and trying to figure out what they'll need and won't need for the next 4 months.

Thursday, Jim and Linda took a bunch of stuff over to the trailer, packed it away and then went to the post office and filled out a temporary change of address card so that the little mail that they do get here in Florida gets sent to their mail forwarding service in Sioux Falls. Then, they went to Gram's Kitchen and had breakfast for lunch. ;-)

The rest of the day was spent going through clothes to try to determine what will be needed. That's kind of difficult because we could get into some pretty chilly weather up North before we return in November.

Yesterday was laundry day. There wasn't a huge amount, but everything possible needs to be laundered before we leave. Jim also pumped up the tires on Big RED and gave him a quick once-over to make sure he's ready to travel.

One of the most difficult things about this whole getting-ready procedure has been the heat and humidity here in FL. By nine or ten o'clock, it's already in the mid 80's with very high humidity, and it make it very difficult for Jim and Linda to do anything that involves being outside.

Take yesterday for example. Around 9:00 Jim got out the air compressor to pump up Big RED's tires. Well, by the time he found the extension cord to plug it in, got it plugged in and then filled the tires, he was soaking wet with sweat and by the time he got everything put away again and came into the house, he was really beat and just collapsed in his recliner. :-(

Now, I know that there are lots of people who work and play every day down here in FL, but neither Jim or Linda seem to  be able to cope with the weather. Maybe they're just not used to it, but you would think that by this time they would be. At least somewhat.

Today, Jim will be taking more "stuff" over to the trailer and pump up it's tires. He already has most of the stuff loaded in Big RED and will probably go over there around 7:00 or 7:30 to try to beat the heat as much as possible. He probably won't get most of the stuff put away, but he and Linda can go back over there later and do that.

A Point to Ponder : Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
--T.S. Eliot

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Final Countdown

DeBary, FL.

74 deg. clear, no wind, humidity 87%
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 91°F. Heat index around 97°F. West wind 2 to 9 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 50%

Houston, we are ready to launch!!!!

Well, maybe not launch, but we are certainly ready to hit the road!!!! ;-) Right now we're at 4 days and counting and everything is looking "good to go!!

Yesterday Big RED took Linda and Jim over to the surgeon's office and the surgeon removed the "port" that has been giving Linda the creeps ever since it was installed way back on the 27th of December, 2013!! :-(   After Dr. Ogle removed the port, he gave Linda a "good to go", and in a total of about 1 hour, Big RED was backing back into the carport and Linda was relaxing in her recliner.

With a big smile on her face, I might add.  .;-)

Before Linda and Jim went to the doctor's office, Laura and Lindsey had stopped by for a few minutes. They chatted for a little while and then just before they left, Linda and Jim gave them a bunch of frozen foods out of the freezer for them to take home and use. There was just too much in the house freezer to take over to the trailer, so if they can use it, it won't go to waste.

As soon as Linda got back from the doctor, she called Laura and told her that the port was out, she was doing fine and it was a very easy procedure. Laura suggested that since we'll be leaving Monday and she'll be busy or working every day before that, it might be nice to go out to dinner together someplace.

So, after taking naps, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed over to Gram's Kitchen where they met up with Laura and Lindsey for a very nice dinner and some great conversation with a couple of very special people. ;-)

Thanks so much for everything, Laura and Lindsey!!! :-)

So, what's left to do before we leave DeBary? Well, Jim went over to Highbanks early this morning and made some adjustments on the Equal-i-zer weight distribution, sway control hitch on the trailer. It had been set up with the trailer empty and now there's quite a bit of  "stuff" in it that has changed the amount of tongue weight, so he felt an adjustment was needed.  There's medicine to take over to the trailer, as well a clothes, personal items and the rest of the food. Jim and Linda have a pretty large list, but I won't go into all of that here.

Then, they have to get the house ready to sit empty for about 4 months. They'll need to do a little cleaning, close all the blinds and shades, empty the refrigerator, turn off most of the circuit breakers to the house, (the A/C stays on and is set at about 84 degrees, and one other circuit is left on for a light), make sure the water is shut off and of course, make sure all doors and windows are checked and locked. Everything outside needs to be put away or secured so that nothing blows around in case there is a severe storm, and the shop/shed is locked and everything in the Florida room and screened-in section of the carport secured.

There's also things to do like go to the Post Office and have all mail sent to Alternative Resources, their mail forwarding service, stop by the office here in the park to let them know that we'll be gone for about 4 months, talk to Bob, the lawn maintenance guy, and pay for the electric that was used since the first of the month over at Highbanks.


Yeah, there's a lot to do, but I have faith!!! ;-) You can't imagine how ready Jim, Linda and I are to get away from here and get back out on the road. Talk about "hitch itch" we've all got a bad case of it and as far as I know, there's only one way to cure it, and that's to hit the road!! And, to top it off, Monday is the day the lot rent at Highbanks is up, so I'm sure we'll be out of here, one way or another!!! ;-)

Did you know that a third of the human population sneezes when they look at the Sun? Light can signal the ocular nerve near the sinuses and triggers a sneeze.


Achoo!!!!!!! :-)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's Difficult

DeBary, Fl.

74 deg. clear, humidity 86%, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 91°F. Heat index around 98°F. South southwest wind to 7 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 50%.

It's difficult trying to decide what to take with you on a 4 month trip, especially since Jim and Linda's mindset is still in the full-timing mode.

Let me try to explain.  You see, for the past 12+ years, anytime that we've been traveling in an RV, Jim and Linda had all of their possessions along with them. Now, we're going to be in a much smaller RV, they won't need or have room to take all of their "stuff" with them, but just what do you need for 4 months and what can you do without?????

Are you going to need that casserole dish that was used for so many pot-luck dinners? Are you going to need  all those cooking utensils, or all the items that you've used for grilling and cooking outside? What tools will you need, which lawn chairs, which clothes?????

We've been full-timing for so long, its hard not to try to take everything you own with you. After so many years of living in an RV, Jim and Linda had figured out just what was needed and what wasn't, but this is a whole new "game"!!!

Linda says that they have to try to get back into the "vacation mode" that they used many years ago. :-)

Anyway, trying to figure that out is what has been going on around here the last few days. Yesterday, they took a whole bunch of  "stuff" over to the trailer and got it all put away. Today, they'll probably be packing more items up to go over there, but they're getting down to the things that they need for everyday living, so most of that will have to be taken to the trailer at the last minute.

As of right now, the plan is still to leave here next Monday morning.although I suppose we could leave on Sunday if everything falls into place.

Linda has been doing a little better but.she's still fighting those dizzy spells which will probably stay with her for awhile yet. That, along with the extreme fatigue requires her to sit and rest a lot, but she's been really trying hard to do as much as she can to get ready to travel.

Oh, Big RED was telling me that they had a little excitement when they arrived at the trailer yesterday morning!!!! It seems that when they got there, there was no electric power to the trailer!!! Jim checked the circuit breakers and they were OK. Then, he checked the electric cords and  found out that there was no power coming out of the one that plugs into the trailer. Upon inspection, it was determined that something had happened inside of the connector and that one of the contacts was burned.

Jim had always thought that there was something that was not quite right with that connector, but the dealer said that they had checked it and everything was OK.

Well, I guess it wasn't!!!!  :-(

Anyway, because by that time, the temperature was already nearing 90 degrees and the refrigerator, (which already has quite a bit of food in it), had already been running off of propane and battery, for who knows how long, Jim decided rather than to mess around with trying to get LaMesa to warranty it, he just went and purchased a new cord.

When he gets time, he'll get a new connector for the old cord and then, he'll have an extra one in case something happens to the new one.

So, that's what has been happening around here. Tomorrow, Linda goes in to get that "port" removed and then it'll just be a matter of tying up all the loose ends.

I sure am getting "hitch itch"!!!!  :-)

Did you know that more than ten people a year are killed by vending machines?


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

DeBary, FL.

74 deg. partly cloudy, no wind. Humidity 89%
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 93°F. Heat index around 103°F. Southwest wind to 11 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 55%.

Happy 4th of July!!!!

Land of the Free

Hope all of you have a great Holiday!!!! 

Did you know the Liberty Bell sounded from the tower of Independence Hall on July 8, 1776, summoning citizens to gather for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon?


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freedom Again?

DeBary, FL.

Forecast =

Those of you that are full-timing, do you remember what it felt like when you drove out of the driveway on your way to a new adventure of full-timing? Or, maybe it was when you finally sold that stix and brix that was holding you back?

Well, today, as Jim and Linda were walking out of the Chemo Doctor's office, there was again, that feeling of freedom.  :-)   Oh, it wasn't the same as they felt as we drove out of that driveway over 13 years ago to start our full-timing adventure, but it was darn close!!!!

You see, today was Linda's last Chemo doctors appointment until we come back here to DeBary, sometime in November. And, to add to the feeling of freedom, Wednesday, Linda had an appointment with the surgeon who installed her port, and he is going to remove it, next Wednesday!!!!

I imagine when she and Jim walk out of his office next Wednesday, they'll get the full effects of the feeling. ;-)

So, unless something goes terribly wrong, by the 14th of this month, we should be on our way to Illinois. :-)

Linda still has a lot of dizziness and a lot of fatigue, but both will slowly diminish with time. The plan is to take it real slow for at least the first few days so that Linda doesn't get too tired and also, so Jim can see how the new trailer is pulling and make adjustments to the weight distribution hitch if necessary. We will also be staying  a couple nights in a few of the campgrounds along the way so that we're not traveling each day.

Of course, Jim has made a trip plan, and it looks like we'll be basically reversing the trip we made down here last August.

Did you know that in 1941, Congress finally established the Fourth of July (Independence Day) as a legal holiday?