Thursday, July 18, 2019

Homeward Bound

Dorothy has not written a word for the blog all year. Minutes after I posted this she emailed me this. 

Here is a synopsis of our trip from Dorothy’s point of view:  We left home mid-March in order to met up with friends.  Our first real stop was in Llano, TX so that we could eat at Cooper’s BBQ.  And eat we did - it was yummy! Then Terry & Betty joined us, showed us their new rig, and we all went to Cooper’s to load up on food to take with us.  We spent the night at a Texas rest area and ate bbq.  

Next we met up with Keith & Sandy and Ed & Carol in southern Utah and then moved to Moab.  We certainly enjoyed spend time with them as always.  After Ed & Carol left, we met up with Paul (Corndog) & Laurie.  We did a lot of Jeeping with them and had a great time riding over the rocks of Moab.  Keith taught us the card game, “Golf” and it has been fun, but I think Keith taught Don how to cheat - ha ha.  The weather in Moab was perfect.

Since the Jeep has been lifted the trails seemed easier.  But, I have had a difficult time getting in it, especially on the driver’s side.  We found a place in Logan, UT that would add electric steps.  This has made a big difference for me and it can still climb rocks without the steps being a hindrance.  But for Don it is too tall.  He has learned to duck his head.  Then we found the rain and a lot of it.  We had to stay in places with electric hookups because the solar panels might not get charged.  One of the places we stayed was Spanish Fork, UT at the city park.  Just looking,  the campground was just a parking lot.  Once you were in your site, there was grass and shade trees behind you.  It was just like a park.  We met some friendly people, Spencer & Lorraine and Dan & Carol, and we certainly enjoyed several Happy Hours with them.

We had many days boondocking.  It certainly lowered our camping fees.  We were gone for 122 days and spent a total of $853.50 for an average of $6.99 per night.  Amazing that I get so excited by having a low average.

Monday, July 8 - We continued south passing through Wind River Canyon which is even more spectacular than we recall from 2007. It gets our vote for the best canyon that you can drive through.

The canyon has an optical illusion. South bound you think you are descending at something like a 4% grade while you are actually going up. The river appears to flow north seemingly uphill. The RR  appears level.

                                 Wind River Canyon

We stayed in an RV park in Casper for AC. We resisted going to Safeway for a bag of fried chicken.

Tuesday, July 9 - Southbound to the hamlet of Encampment, where we parked in a city park with full hooks. I washed off some of the grime on KoKo. No need for AC, there was strong wind blowing.

Wednesday, July 10 - Our intent was to continue south to Buena Vista and do a little wheeling for 2 or 3 days, then head directly home. I checked the weather and found the highs were going to be in the high 80's - way too warm for our comfort. We choose to get on I80 and head east. The direct route to I80 from our location was WY130 through the Snowy Mountains. I knew it was scenic, but I had forgotten how high the summit is - 10,830 feet. That was easily the highest we have been on this trip. The top is granite with lots of lakes and reminds me of the the Rubicon Trail section of the Sierra Nevada.

We parked at Vedauwoo east of Laramie. We had not been here in a decade. It will be the last "rocks" we will see as we descend on the plains. Surprise, while it is mid-70's there is a light breeze and we had to put on long pants and sleeves to sit out. I expect this will be the last coolness we experience until October.

Thursday, July 11 - After six days of feeling pretty good, I woke up back in the ditch. I improved during the day, but my energy dropped at 7:30.

Vedauwoo is at 8,200. when we parked we were at 4,200. Slow downhill all day.

Our west bound friends met us at the city park in Brush, CO. What a busy place. Consolation that had a swimming pool so we cooled off there. A band decided to rehearse their act at the park. Damn good. They played mostly Beatles. Three old guys and a talented young vocalist.

Friday, July 12 - Our friends suggested we take US36 rather than I80 all the way to Illinois. We prefer such roads as they provide more interest than interstates. Sure you have to slow down for every town, but I feel that keeps the mind engaged. So far the road surface has been quite smooth.

We planned to overnight at a city park in Phillispburg, Kansas but the voltage was too low run the ac. There was not another RV park of any kind within 50 miles eastbound. I saw there was a COE CG to the north near Alma, Nebraska. So 24 miles off course we went. The CG was flooded. We perched in a CG in Alma. $28 is cheap to pay for electricity when it's 95.

Long day for us, 4 hours to intended destination, then another half-hour to an alternate.

Saturday, July 13 - Three hours brought us to the Washington, Kansas city park. Shade and electricity and a pool.

Curious to us, five birds, three today, rose from the roadside and flew directly into the windshield. It must be raccoon breeding season, we have seen dozens of road kills.

Sunday, July 14 - Four hours and my ass was hurting. We got to the city park in Brooksfield, MO. Electricity and a pool.

Monday, July 15 -  Another four hours brought us to a delightful city park in the corn fields. The Sherwood Forest CG near Hillsboro, IL.  Almost every space is taken for the season by locals who use the lake. Only $1,100 for the season which includes W&E. We paid $10 also a deal.

A little cooler here and much more humid.

Tuesday, July 16 - How long did we drive today? Four hours of course. It would be nice to drive longer, but we just can't. Let's see we were in Missouri, we went east into Illinois, then south into Missouri. Gas is 50 cents more in bankrupt Illinois.

We intended to park in a city park in Thebes, IL, but the bridge over the Mississippi was closed, so we are at The Little Old Opry CG for the low price of $15. $10 a night if you stay three nights.

Wednesday, July 17 - 3.5 hours south on I55, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and finally Mississippi. We parked at a COE CG under shade trees. It's only 88. The ac is set to 77 but it has not turned off in the three hours we have been here.

The guys are probably dead, but the idiots who thought running interstates through downtown would be a good idea should be flogged.

Thursday, July 18 - Three hours brought us to a COE CG near Westpoint, MS. We should be home be lunch tomorrow. Crossing from Montana to home in 13 days.


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