Today was a very interesting day, as maybe you can tell from the photo's. Let me begin at the beginning.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Today was a very interesting day, as maybe you can tell from the photo's. Let me begin at the beginning.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Okay, today we went to West Yellowstone, Montana to do laundry - which was VERY expensive - $1.75 a load and then .25 for 8 minutes of drying time - anyway, $10.00 later we had the laundry done and Dan wanted to look around town - We did eat lunch at a little diner next door to the laundry mat - Dan looked at a new hat, but decided to wait until we went over to Jackson Hole. But, to the picture- we were driving home and about 3 miles from where we live I looked out the window and starting yelling at Dan to stop and pull into this parking area where all these people were fishing - he was like "Why??" I yelled "MOOSE!!!!!" I'm yelling for him to stop and trying to grab my camera out of the backseat and trying to open the truck door all at the same time. Dan is yelling at me not to get out of the truck, but there was NO WAY I was going to miss taking pictures of my FIRST MOOSE!!!! I jumped out of the truck and started down the path - then I did decide to slow down and try not to make too much noise and startle her. I guess I was about 20 yards away when she stepped into the river and I started snapping away. I took 32 pictures of my first moose - some are really good, other not so good BUT I have now seen a moose -not a male moose, but a moose!!! Now, we will have to look for a male moose. We also saw a herd of antelope (which BTW was what we saw before not deer, but there were still 3 babies), a hawk, and a marmot (which is sorta like a ground hog for those of you back east). There is wild life everywhere, and I'm loving it.
Of course, I still didn't get the house clean - not that it is THAT dirty, but I would like to run the vacuum and sweep the floor, clean the bathroom and dust the light fixtures. Maybe, I can get that done first thing in the morning before Dan wants to go to Jackson Hole. He also wants to go into Yellowstone - I don't know if that will be tomorrow or Wednesday, but you can bet we will get there this week (before the 4th).
We also found out about our mail and I called my friend and let her know how to send all our stuff to us. If anyone wants the mailing address, just email me or let me know in the comments and I will get it to you. I am also uploading photos to Picasa's web album - it will take me awhile to get everything downloaded, but hopefully once I do that I can give you a link to the web albums and you will be able to see all the photos - the good ones and the not so good.
I hope you enjoy the picture of my first moose and I'll post more pictures of the wildlife when I see them - and I can't wait to see more!!! Yahoo!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
This is where Dan and I "work" two days a week - Saturday and Sunday- from 10am to 4pm. Today was interesting - as our first day on the job we really had no idea what to expect. Boy oh boy! I can not believe how many people came through the cabin today - I mean we were busy from 9:40 when we got to the cabin this morning until we left at 4 this afternoon. I almost feel like I used to when school would start in August - just worn out from being on your feet all day and talking all day. WOW!
We met some interesting people though - one gentleman's grandfather was a friend of Johnny Sack and another lady's grandfather owned the lodge that used to be located across the river from the cabin - (the lodge burned in 1982 and was never replaced). I won't give you the talk but let's just say the Johnny was as unique a person as his cabin is. I will try and take some pictures of the inside tomorrow, if I can find a time when we don't have people in the cabin!
I'm trying to bake some potatoes for dinner while Dan is fixing the meat on the grill - I still need to fix the salad and set the table - BUT before I sign off for today just wanted to let you know that when we got up this morning at 6:30 the temperature was a crisp 32 degrees!!!!!! Yikes, that's cold no matter who you are - it did warm up to about 72 and on our way home is was just 68. Oh well - it's a tough life, but someone has to do it - I'm just glad it's Dan and I!!!
I hope you have a great Sunday and I'm still working with Picasa - I'll get it figured out someday! Love to all!!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Okay - if you know Dan you know that there was no way that I would be able to stay at home today and clean - there is territory that he hasn't discovered yet and places that he hasn't been to yet - so instead of cleaning we went to Upper Mesa Falls and Lower Mesa Falls. This is my charming man with Lower Mesa Falls in the background.
We also went out to John Sack Cabin today and talked with our neighbor - as it was her day to volunteer in the cabin. She gave us some background and showed how to close the cabin up after our shift. Tomorrow when we go out I think we will be working all day - not just doing an orientation as I first thought. Of course a full day runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm - not bad having a six hour day. We are suppose to met Sue and Tamara tomorrow for our orientation - I'm not sure how long Tamara will be there, but I know that Sue won't be there long as she has a meeting with a group tomorrow.
Today was an overcast and rainy day - it didn't rain all day, but there were times that it rained quite heavily - and it was pretty cool. When Dan and I left the cabin at around 4:30 this afternoon it was sprinkling rain and the temperature was a crisp 48 degrees. We had left the windows open at the 5th wheel - so when we got home we closed everything up and turned on the heat for a while. It sure felt good! (I know you guys back in Florida that are having 100 degree days don't want to hear about us having to turn on the heat, but facts are facts - sorry - NOT!) I came in and fixed dinner - yes, I cooked - don't faint! It wasn't that bad - but I am really going to have to keep the cooking at home up - we ate out for breakfast this morning and between breakfast this morning and dinner last night we spent more than we had spent the entire trip getting out here. So, after we went to the falls and before we went to the cabin we went to the grocery store and bought a few things - including eggs, bacon, and English muffins. No more eating breakfast out, except for an occasional treat.
We have been asking about the laundry issue and it looks like we will have to go into Ashton to go to a laundry mat (that's about 20 miles away), so we will probably make it a weekly trip - that's also where the closest grocery store is. If we go to Rexburg we can go to the closest Wal Mart - that's about 40 miles away. We'll just have to play it by ear for a while and see which one works out best for us.
The other issue that has not been resolved is the mail - Sue said she was going to check about us having our mail sent to the ranger's office. So we wanted to wait and see what she says about that before we talk to the post office - so, Joyce just hold on for a couple of more days. We should know something by the first of the week and we will give you a call and tell you where to send the mail. Hopefully, there isn't that much that will need to be sent.
We haven't made it to West Yellowstone or to the park yet - that will probably be something that Dan will want to do next week. He will want to go in to Jackson Hole also. There is also the Grand Tetons National Park and the Elk Sanctuary - but there is time. We have a couple of months and I know that we will be in these places more than once.
I hope all is going well for everyone and if you have any questions just let me know. BTW - I'm glad your home Patty Lou - I missed telling you good-bye, but will look forward to seeing you and everyone else back in Dowling Park in November!
Oh- one more thing - I'm working on getting all the pictures I have taken on this trip so far onto Picasa and then being able to share them on the web - and believe me there are MANY photo's! I'll let you know when I figure this step out - it just takes me a little while, but I usually get it -okay it takes me longer than a little while, but I eventually do figure it out! Keeping checking with me!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
We went out to dinner tonight - okay we had to check things out. I'll really get into cooking and see how that will go but we had to go and check out the local "inn". Plus, we don't get ANY television reception at all - which means I need to make real good friends with these people so I can watch football in about 6 weeks! That is important to me cause I love my football. (To tell you the truth, Dan is already talking about getting hold of Direct TV again and seeing about getting a portable dish - we'll see.) In the meantime, looks like I will be doing a lot of reading and keeping you guys updated on our adventures.
After dinner we just drove around a little - actually, we found where we will be working and looked around there - then after leaving there we drove down a gravel road and we saw a herd of deer in the distance eating. Got the binoculars out and closer to us was a momma deer with 3 - yes, I said 3 - fawns. We watched them for awhile until something spooked them and they ran off - and no I did not have my camera with me - I had taken into the camper when we unloaded the truck. I will start carrying it with me all the time so when we see wildlife I can get pictures so you guys can see it too.
Tomorrow the lady that is in charge of Johnny Sack Cabin (where we will be working) is suppose to come by and see us and then Saturday we are going out to the cabin to have our orientation. They have already entrusted us with a key to the place. I also plan on doing some cleaning - you know sweep, run the vacuum, clean the bathroom, and dust - that should take all of 30 - 45 minutes. We do have to find a place to do laundry - that could be the only problem that I have seen so far. We are also going to go into the post office and check on how we can get our mail - probably general delivery, but we are going to double check with them. Soooooo, tomorrow looks like it will be a busy day for us, but we are ready to settle down for a while - I know the pups are. (Sam had started to look at us with that "are we ever going to stop this truck for longer than one night" look.) They both seem happy to explore around the camper today. We will need to clear a larger "yard" so we can keep track of them (if they get out in the grass around the camper we can't see them at all because the grass is so tall), That will be important because not only do we have moose, deer, and elk. but we also have BEARS. Oh! What fun we are going to have - Dan is in hog heaven! If any of you want to come out there are plenty of cabins close that you can rent and there are lodges close by also - Come see us if you can - if you can't just stay with me on the blog and I'll keep trying to let you know what is going on.
BTW - in the next couple of days I'll get the budget ready - and come up with the figures of what we spent coming out and how we will live to reach our goal of living on our retirement. I do want to let you know the good and the bad of this adventure - even the money part. So, I will get those figures ready. Keep the comments coming and we miss you guys back east.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
That's snow on them there hills ladies and gentlemen! Is there snow where we are now? No, of course not. We passed up to snow to be on a lake in Northern Utah - Dan wanted to be on a lake so here we are. He just came in with the dogs and said that we are in mosquito heaven - what did he expect - we are on a lake!
We did have some problems again today - first of all the door came off AGAIN! Dan says it is going to stay off until we get "home". Then on top of that, when we hooked up the power the left side of the 5th wheel did not work - Dan had to take the cover off the panel box and see if he could figure out what was the matter -the circuit kept kicking off - we ended up unplugging the printer and wonder of wonder the power came on and stayed on.
On our way here we stopped at a Wal Mart and picked up some baking potatoes, salad, and a chicken. After we arrived and got the power situation fixed and the broken door off the track I fixed dinner - I even warmed up the ribs that were left from our supper last night. It was pretty good even if I do say so myself.
Tomorrow we should make it the rest of the way into our work location. (Which by the way, was when I originally said we would be there.) We are suppose to stop in Ashton, Idaho to fill out some paperwork. We are only about 4 to 5 hours away so we should be able to get in early and get set up in our new "home". I will take lots of pictures tomorrow so you all will see where we will be spending the next two and a half months. I can't wait!!!!
Keep sending those comments - let me know what you think of the blog and I'll try and answer any questions you may have!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Hello everyone - these are just a couple of the many pictures I took today at Bryce Canyon Utah - this place is absolutely amazing!!!! I can not begin to describe the absolute beauty and the pictures can only tell part of the story - this is truly a place that has to be seen to be appreciated. We are only a relatively short drive from the Grand Canyon, but I would say that there were only about 1/16 the number of people here that there were at the Canyon.
Yesterday we drove quite a distance and then spent probably 3 hours at the Canyon. Then we had another 3 to 4 hour drive to find a place to stay for the evening. We finally set up camp around 8:30 our time - that would be around 11:30 EDT. Then we ate dinner and I was ready for the hot tub - that sure felt good - very relaxing and we were then able to come in and go to bed and sleep.
This morning we were up at 6:30 our time (our bodies haven't quite adjusted to this new time yet) and were on the road by 8:00 - drove about 4 hours and decided to stay here at Bryce in a lovely campground. We figured we would have a leisurely day at Bryce and then come back into camp and have a quiet evening. We did splurge tonight and actually went out to eat for the first time on this trip. Dan had an all you can eat buffet (is that any surprise to anyone??) and I had the Bar-B-Que Ribs. They were wonderful and so many that I brought half of them home. (Boy, was I popular when I walked in the door - the puppies smelled those ribs and I was their best friend - however; they didn't get any!) The meal ran $43.00 plus tip but it was worth it to have a meal out after a week on the road.
We talked to our "boss" in Idaho today - and we will start up that way starting tomorrow - we will plan on being there on Friday - Salt Lake City tomorrow - Idaho Falls Thursday and into West Yellowstone on Friday. We are sorta getting anxious to get there and see what things will be like - we think we are going to be right on the river - I'm even excited about getting there.
Well, I'm going to close for tonight. Take care all and keep the comments coming! (BTW, thanks Kim for the information on my computer - it will come in handy in the future.)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Hey everyone - Look- I downloaded a picture!!!!! Actually my favorite guy in the whole world figured out how to download my pictures - so over the next few days I'll go back and add pictures to my previous blogs so they will make more sense to everyone.
Well, if you haven't figured it out yet - we were at the Grand Canyon today - it was awesome!!!!! However, it was a rough day on the road and we are finally at our campsite - and they have a pool. Guess where I'm heading - yep! Plus they have a hot tub!!!! Yahoo!!!! I'll share more about our adventure today at a later time - I'm going in the pool!!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
We are camped in the middle of the desert - I am NOT kidding! We are right outside Winslow Arizona at a state park named Homolovi Ruins State Park - the air temperature outside is currently 87% with 5% humidity. The wind is constantly blowing. You can see for miles and miles with nothing around but tumbleweeds, dirt and rocks to look at. I guess you could say is it interesting scenery, but not what Dan and I would call beautiful (but then that is just our opinion).
We stopped at Wal Mart in Gallup New Mexico today and bought some hamburger meat and buns - we plan on cooking out on the grill tonight. We expect the temperature to drop dramatically after the sun goes down, but that probably won't be until around 10:00 our time. I took some pictures of the buttes and mesas as we were riding down the highway today and hope to post some of these pictures soon (thanks Melissa for calling me about the computer, but I can't find the owner's manual - probably in the storage room in Dowling Park - okay, sometimes I'm not that bright - BUT, I have emailed HP and asked them how to download pictures on the computer and hopefully I will get an email back soon). If not - we'll go to a Best Buy and ask - that's where I bought the computer - or if anyone out there has an HP Pavilion Entertainment PC and know how to upload photo's PLEASE let me know.
Tomorrow we are headed to the Grand Canyon and we are going to start "playing" as Dan puts it. We hope to also go the Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park before heading on up to Idaho. I'll take lots of pictures and WHEN (not if) I'm able to download I'll look into posting a link to a site like Picassa or Snapfish so you will be able to see more than just a couple that I would be able to download onto the blog.
Everyone have a great week and keep coming back - I'll try my best to stay current with our activities. I'm even going to get serious and start talking money real soon. (For example, I wouldn't recommend doing this and have expenses at home - we are starting this adventure debt free - everything we own is paid for from the truck to the camper - we have extended warranties on both and we have a credit card for fuel which will be paid in full each month. Now neither the truck or the camper are brand new - they are both 2008 models, but they both look brand new and with the extended warranties we should be covered for anything major - but that was a $60,000 +/_ expenditure we made in the last couple of months (the month of May to be exact). We were fortunate in that we were able to do this thanks to some savings and the sell of the house in Dowling Park. We even have a little bit of a cushion in a CD and I hope to be able to save money while we are in Idaho. Actually our goal is to live on our retirement checks from the state of Florida - Dan and I are both retired educators and put Dan's Social Security check and the annunity check into savings. That means we will be living on $2,500.00 a month and saving about the same amount. Our biggest outlay will be fuel - so we will see how that goes. I am keeping track of every little penny we spend and I'll create a budget that I'll share when I have more figures. In the meantime, you have an idea of what we are trying to do. We'll share the ups and downs as we go along.
For those that are reading - thanks for coming along on our adventure - we would love to hear from you - so send those comments to us.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The campsite was sure different - I took some pictures and once again IF I ever find out how to load them on the computer, I'll post some. We drank our coffee and ate some cinimmon toast then packed up and started on our way. Our goal was to make Santa Rosa State Park in New Mexico. Things started out pretty well - the road was good and not a lot of traffic. We did run into a lot of rain and it was windy all day, but Dan said it really didn't affect the way the truck and trailer handled. We made it to Santa Rosa around 4:30 mountain time (6:30 to you guys back east). We thought we were going to have an early day - HAH! We had "Francis" (that's the name we have given to our Garmin GPS) on and 'she' was directing us to the campground. We started to get a little worried when we were headed down a single lane dirt road headed off into the sunset - passing under a railroad bridge that we could have reached out and touched the support posts. But, we trusted Francis - she had never failed us before. 3.5 miles down this dirt road 'she' tells us to turn hard to the left - well, guess what - there was NO ROAD TO THE LEFT - there was nothing but open prarie. Thankfully, a local had seen us going down this road and had come after us. We stopped and talked to him and he told us we were NO where NEAR the state park. Anyway, he helped us get turned around and back down the one lane dirt road we went. After about 30 minutes we finally find the state park and guess what - they don't have any opening for tonight!!!!! Back in the truck and down the road we went. What else could possibly happen???? OH, Plenty!
We get back into town - stop at McDonald's to eat (did I mention we hadn't eaten since we ate that cinammon toast this morning?) got back out on the Interstate and start west - well, in New Mexico gas stations are few and far between and those with diesel are even further apart. We are down to 20 miles of fuel left when we finally spot a gas station that has diesel - out in the middle of no where - price $2.79.9 a gallon - $100.00 later we are back on the road - still have no idea where we are going to stay - it is getting late when I finally spot a KOA in a town named Miorarity. We stop - I go in to check us in and when she tells me the rate for one night I almost fainted - how about $50.00 - can you believe it!! Well, after we get parked and set up we open the camper door and find that the door that separates the living room from the bedroom and bathroom has come off the track. Now, I need to go see if I can help Dan fix the door.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day - but, today's adventures will certainly be something we will be talking about for years to come!!!! Have a safe and happy Father's day!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
No one prepared me for the feeling of complete fear that overcame me as we were completing the final preparations this morning. I was excited, yes, but also absolutely scared to death! As long as I don't think about the fact that this 5th wheel is the only home I have - I'm fine. I'll get used to the idea in time - it's just a little scarey for now.
The day went pretty well - we did have a 45 minute traffic delay right outside Lafayette, LA which put us into camp a little late (around 8:30 local time), but I have fed Dan and the girls and my Chicken and Dumplings are getting cold (I fixed them in the crock pot yesterday so all I had to do was warm them up in the microwave - pretty smart huh!)
The truck is getting awful fuel mileage (about 9 miles to the gallon) but Dan says we didn't buy the truck for the mileage - and other than breakfast and the campground - we didn't spend any money - we stopped at a rest area and I fixed a couple of sandwiches in the camper and we ate outside. This let the girls run around some and they were much better after we got back in the truck.
I think we are going to stay on a somewhat southern route and do a little site seeing on our way - will let you all know more about where we go later. I'll sign off for now - it's late and I need to finish eating. Let me know what you think and all you folks back "home" - we miss you already! Love to all.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Now, where are we going?? Well, at the end of May we were thinking we would be going to a state park in Northeast Georgia - Bobby Brown State Park. We were all set to host in the state park for a couple of months. Hosting at a state park means you will be greeting and helping fellow campers as well as doing general cleaning - cleaning campsites when people leave and keeping the bathhouse clean. For performing these chores you are provided a full site campsite at no cost. Then we received a phone call from the park manager. It seems that the state of Georgia has been hit hard by the recession and has changed some of there parks to "honor system" parks which means that there will be NO paid staff on site and the camp hosts would have to perform more duties (which was not a problem) and there would be no help if needed for about 45 minutes - as the closest park with paid staff would be 40 miles away. Dan and I talked about this and since this would be our first experience at hosting we were a little worried. When out of the blue, we received a phone call from a park we had applied to before applying to Georgia parks. We were offered a position where we would work 2 days a week and only have to greet visitors and maybe a little light dusting. Not only would we be given a full hook up site we would be paid a small salary ($15.00 each per day) and milage from our campsite to the cabin where we will be working. So, where is this wonderful place you might ask???? IDAHO! Yes, I said Idaho - actually, right outside West Yellowstone. We are so excited about this that we can hardly stand it. We will be staying and working at Johnny Sack Cabin from the end of June until the second week of September. I'll keep you posted on what we do when we are not working - since we only have to work 2 days a week we will be doing a lot of site seeing.
Also, this is my first post using the "air card" - we will see how much of my KG's on my air card this will take - but it will be a lesson for me to see. I still haven't posted any pictures yet, but I will in the near future.
More on the financial end of this endeavor will come next week, along with our impression of our first days on the road. Should be interesting!
Monday, June 8, 2009
The last weekend in May we went to Lakeland with a load of furniture for our children that live there - 3 of our 4 - and attended our oldest granddaughter's high school graduation. We also checked out a RV resort close to Lakeland to see were we will stay when we come back in November. Things went well until we discovered we forgot the bed that we were suppose to take to our youngest daughter. Which meant they had to come up here this past weekend for one night.
We come back to Dowling Park a week ago Sunday - picked up the new 5th wheel a week ago today - came back and started loading it with our stuff. We moved it to the RV park here in the Village on Wednesday morning and have been staying there ever since. It is now "home" and I think we will be very comfortable once everything gets settled.
This past week we went through everything that was left at the house - had our HUGE moving sale on Friday and Saturday - my friend Joyce and I packed up everything that did not sell yesterday afternoon and right now I am waiting for the truck to come and pick it all up. We did really well with the sale - all the big stuff sold except the living room couch and the swivel rocker. Not too bad considering it rained off and on the whole weekend.
We have just about gotten everything out of the house now, we still have a few things that will be going to my mother's house in Atlanta and a couple of things that is going to my oldest daughter in Atlanta. Those will be loaded in a U-Haul trailer on Wednesday and we will leave on Thursday morning - set things up in Atlanta, spend the night, and come back here on Friday. Rest on the weekend and close on the house next Monday. So far, everything has been going on schedule - I just hope it stays on schedule.
Some things have changed as far as where we will be going and how long we will be there, but I'll save that for my next post - keep you guys in suspense. Tomorrow I will do laundry and go through the pantry. When the housekeeper comes on Wednesday EVERYTHING should be out of the house and I don't want to come back in after tomorrow.
We have changed all our direct deposits to our bank in Lakeland - we have our address ready to change - when we leave here we are going to have to make a trip to Pensacola - this will be our new home base address and we discovered that Dan's drivers license will expire on his birthday in August so we will have to make a little detour and have his license renewed (mine also probably) renew our tags and change our regristration for voting to the new address. Just a few of the little things that you may not think about having to do. We have also taken care of all the insurance needs on the truck and 5th wheel, notified our credit card company that we will be traveling so they don't put a hold on our account (which they have done in the past because of the charges in different cities). I've also gotten an air card for my computer - but I'm using the internet at the house right now - I mean I'm paying for it until the 15th I might as well save my time on the air card until we leave.
I'll sign off for now - just know that this is not the part of this transition that I have not been looking forward to - I've read that most people take a year or more to make this transition - we are doing it in 6 weeks and believe me - it's HARD work and many decisions have had to be made quickly. Maybe for us it's better to do it quickly and not drag it out, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone! Let me go see if there is something I need to pack - Oh! Dan is calling me, he's hungry - why am I not surprised!