Saturday, October 19, 2013


Knew when I looked at the radar weather map first thing this morning we were going to be dealing with rain today no matter which route we took.  And so it was.  We were both up shortly after 4 a.m.  No, we hadn’t set any alarms, we’re just early risers especially when traveling.  Pulled the gearshift lever into D & had the wheels rolling by 6:17.  Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a great feeling it is.  In just a matter of seconds all anxieties & apprehensions ended.  In other words we left our old sack of problems at the counter & picked us up a new sack.  (I have included my ‘Sacks Of Problems’ post from 2010 as tonight’s Groaners Corner) But no problems this morning.  Only 4 cars ahead of us at the border it was still a 15 minute wait.  The border guy was being very thorough.  Our turn, & he asked the routine questions.  Wondered if we would be moving from RV Park to RV Park in the Congress area to which I answered, no we have a house in Congress.  He turned & said, “you guys got it pretty good” & with a smile handed us our passports & waved us through.  Whewwww:))
The rain had started as we were crossing the Blue Water bridge from Sarnia to Port Huron.  You weren’t missing anything there today Renee:))  Construction for a few miles on I-69 but nothing serious.  We drove in rain from Port Huron to nearly Elkhart Indiana where we encountered the first of many sun splashes about 1:20.  Rest of the day was great driving weather.  Autumn leaves were at their peak coming through Michigan & even with dark rainy skies upon us the leaves were about as pretty as I had ever seen.  Just needed a little sunlight to set them afire.
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Winnie the Bago is turning out to be a little gem to drive.  After the Sunseeker I was a bit worried I would not like the Bago as much.  Runs well, handles well, & has a smooth ride.  Seats are totally comfortable & love the sound system.  Only drawback was Kelly hitting her head twice on the overhead bed that we had left in place.  First time knocked her to the floor & she still has a small lump atop her head.  We’re going to stop at Best Buy & get her a hard hat.  Maybe an orange construction cone & some yellow safety tape as well.
We had never taken Toll Road I-94 from Angola Indiana to Gary Indiana before so figured this morning we’d see us some new scenery.  Nice road & light traffic for the most part.  Goes right through Elkhart Indiana.  Traffic really picked up once we transferred to I-80 west in Gary.  Eight lanes going like nuts.  Reminded me of my old Stratford Airporter days years ago in & out of Pearson International Airport in Toronto.  Just pulled out my old sack of chaotic driving skills & we bulled our way right through.
We knew the I-57 interchange was coming up soon so had to finally make a decision on which route to take.  Head down 57 to 55 & head west from Memphis on our old route or stay on I-80 & strike out across the Iowa Plains.  Saw the I-57 interchange come & go so that was that.  Across the Plains it is to be.
We kept the speed down to about 55mph all day & had ourselves more rest stops than we usually do.  By late afternoon we were checking for Cracker Barrels ahead.  Picked a hard one to find & actually found it around 4 o’clock.  We do like our Cracker Barrels.  Always feels kinda homey in there & I like all the glitter & sparkle in the gift shop one has to walk through to get to the eats.  I don’t know what I had but there was white gravy all over everything & I loved it.
Pheebs is just the best little traveler.  Never causes us a speck of trouble.  No whining, crying, or anxiously pacing about.   Likes to curl up on the floor between our seats.  And she likes the snuggles & scruffles she gets when she sits up.  Always best in the rest areas as well.  We never have to put a leash on her.  Comes when called & stays close.  Just the best.
Typing this tonight I am reclined on the right side of our super comfortable loveseat while Kelly with her Acer Netbook is reclined right beside me on the left side.  Pheebs is on her bed on the floor in front of us.  She was tucked in between us for a bit but it was a bit tight with the 3 of us on here.  Got a few accommodation bugs to work out with our smaller traveling space but we are liking our new mobile digs & I’m sure we will adapt quickly.
Knowing us as well as I do I suspect we’ll roll out of our convenient Cracker Barrel spot for the night very early in the morning.  We just aren’t sleeper iners.  Never have been.
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And Kelly noticed another Friend Connect person has joined us to day.  Our first day on the road of this winter season we welcome ANDREE FOUCAULT to our travels.  Thanks for dropping by Andree:))  IMG_0733
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww NUTS!!!!!!!   Just realized I forgot to bring the power cord for my Toshiba laptop, battery is already down 50%.  I am toast:((  Gotta go & hope I have enough juice left to publish this…….
GROANER’S CORNER:((  Here's the way I see it.  Through life we are constantly burdened with ever changing sacks of problems.  Some bigger & heavier than others.  Whether you know it or not every human being on the planet is a constant customer at the 'problem store.'  It's probably the busiest store in the world.  When you tire of a set of problems, you take that sack to the problem store & get rid of it.  In other words you deal with that specific set of problems.  However, you do not walk out of that store problem free.  You only trade in that sack of old problems for a sack of new ones.  A sack of new problems is generally more exciting than that old sack you just traded in though.  I often tire of old ones & regularly trade them in for brand spanking new ones.
Ok, here's what I'm getting at & I'll direct this one more to the full timing folks even though it also applies to the rest of us in varying degrees.  You have a dream, you have a vision & you sell your house & all your stuff.  You have just been to the problem store & got rid of that whole sack of sticks & bricks lifestyle problems .   At last, what a relief:))  But, wait a minute, remember the rule.  It's only a trade in & now you must pick up your new set of problems.  It's mandatory & there is no getting out of it!!  You now exit the 'problem store with a complete new sack of problems.
Your new sack is going to contain some surprises for you.  Yes, there are still all the old stand-by favs like leaky plumbing, electrical headaches, leaking doors & window, carpet spills & stains, plugged toilets, hot water shortages, blackouts, leaky roofs, & furnace failures, etc. etc.  Some of the new surprises may come in the form of rooms (slides) becoming stuck & leaving you boondocked out in the middle of nowhere with no way to go anywhere.  Or how about one of your hydraulic jacks not retracting & leaving you in the same position as above.  Don't laugh, both those things have happened to us.  Other surprises hiding in your little sack of new problems might have to do with things like a sudden & messy break in a sewer line at a dumping station, wind gusts while driving or boondocking that are trying to totally eliminate you from the face of the planet, crowded campgrounds that require you to grease the sides of your unit to fit it into a space, hauling 50 or 60 feet or more through unfamiliar large cities, breakdowns, accidents, soaring fuel costs, shaky security, sudden or long term health issues with no immediate health services around, no personal physician,  no Tim Hortons for a thousand miles in any direction, blow outs on the interstates, & the endless list just goes on & on & on.  The fact of living in small box about 12 feet wide by 33 feet long for weeks, months, & years at a time generates it's own set of problems.  Throw in a cranky old Cursmudgeon & 3 aging dogs & the sack of problems just gets heavier for all concerned.  (I wrote this in 2010)
Anyway, I think you get my drift when I say the RV dream lifestyle has to looked at through totally realistic eyes.  However, don't look too hard or you just might be forced to abandon your dream focus.  You just may resolve yourself to hanging onto your old sack of problems.  You may convince yourself that at least with them you know what to expect in their boring humdrum routine. 
But, you know what, gimme a new set of problems any day & let me go live & play where I wanna be.  Give me the cold nights, the big winds, the broken water pump, & the flat tires.  Just don't make me grind along any longer with the same heavy old sack of boring problems. 
Ya know what........I think I'm long overdue for a good old trip to the 'problem store'.....10-4!!
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.


  1. Angola is in Indiana, Al. Rather than a hard hat, guess you'd better get a power cord at Best Buy :-)

  2. Glad to hear your trip is starting out with only a small sack of minor problems. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Thanks Al....I needed to hear about the problem store and the trade in policy. I'm ready for a new bag of problems.

  4. The three of you look very snuggly on your couch! ;)


  5. Sounds like a great send off and day one on the road !!!
    Sooooo glad all is well...... Like the "problem sack trade -
    in " analogy ...... SO TRUE !!!!

  6. safe travels as you continue southwards! enjoy the view out the windshield!!

  7. Ditto on getting a power cord. I am a day late, but congratulations on 34 years. You have been a free man and enjoying life for a long time now.
    Also want to thank you for the battery reminder. That is a easy one to forget and ours died last Summer and we awoke freezing, yes Alaska is cold in the summer most times.
    Looks like you found a great spot to bed down. Safe travels.

  8. Yeah...happy trails!

    I love the biscuits and gravy at Cracker Barrel and the yummy hash brown casserole!

  9. I guess you need to find a power cord soon - maybe you need to stay at a Walmart one night. Glad you made it just fine through Customs. That's always a relief.

  10. I have seriously considered buying an additional power cord to just leave in the MoHo to make up for the forgetful brain. I'll bet there are a ton of bloggers who feel that all is right with the world....Al and Kelly are on the road!. I-80 is such a trucker's route. ugh. Lots of semi's (as you know my daughter drives one) but that doesn't make me like them any better. She and I laugh about the "old folks driving motorhomes" and the "crazy truck drivers". Travel safe!

  11. The I-80 route sounds like the best. Good sights and good country to roll through.
    Sounds like a great start to a good winter adventure.

  12. What an exciting and fun day ya'll have experienced!

    Glad the crossing went well.
    Ate at our local CB yesterday
    ( love the place).

    I love the Pheebs reading the map!

    Enjoy the journey!! Drive safe!

  13. You guys are moving right along much quicker then we will be, but enjoy the drive and have fun.

  14. Love the picture of Pheebes "helping" Kelly read the map! Priceless

  15. Glad to see you three are finally on the road. Have a safe and fun trip!

  16. Glad your border crossing went well, welcome back to the US! Hope you find a power cord soon!!

  17. Welcome to the good old US of A! Good timing too, the muckety-mucks in Washington have finally stopped holding our National Parks, BLM land and Forest Service lands etc hostage! sheeeeesh!

  18. I'm happy you guys are on the road! Oops~your power cord? That's bad...get one soon, okay?
    Cheryl Ann~we are heading to Arizona, to Phoenix and Flagstaff next weekend. Hubby has 3 days off and I'm taking an extra day! We'll be looking for fall colors.

  19. So sorry to hear about the power cord,I was lucky, when I bought my new HP laptop, first thing I noticed was the power cord was the same as the one for Donna's Dell laptop, same voltage and plug on it, That means the Dell car cord I bought for the truck will also work in either one. Wish you could look in your mirror and see a grey Duramax with a Coachman Chaperral behind, you, I am ready to travel also.Now if I can just get Donna in shape for a trip, Have fun guys and give the pheebs a scruff on the neck and a pet from all of us. Sam,Donna, & Rigg's..

  20. A missing laptop power cord, how could it be?
    From your posting of October 17th:
    "All the final things into the rig, double & triple checking of the ‘to do lists’. Walk through the carport storage area, sheds, & every room of the house for about the umpteenth time looking for any little thing we may have forgot or suddenly decided we need. Computer cords, flashlights, battery chargers, etc.etc." (my added emphasis)

    Just one of those problems that your going to find in your new problem sack.

  21. Poor Kelly! I always hit my head a few times before I learn my lesson to backup and then lift my head or else I get bumps. I forgot my camera charging cord last year. Just packed it :)

  22. We are our own cursmudgeons -- we don't like Cracker Barrel! But that's just us. We have also gone on a trip without a power cord for the laptop. First time we were only 80 miles from home, so we jumped in the Toad and made a 160 mile round trip. You're a little farther out, so the Best Buy idea is the answer.

  23. Have a safe trip! I am envious..............

  24. Only had to turn around and come home once..forgot Den's glasses. He wears contact lenses most of the time, but in case something happens he MUST have his back up glasses..Yep, about 30 miles West of home on Rt 34 we turned the Hiker around and came back for them...and so it goes! Travel safe!

  25. Wish you were closer. We have an extra power pak. Be safe out there!