Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 November 30

Those pretty sparkles are caused by fractures in the ice.

Today is a beautiful sunny morning and the temperature is still below freezing.  There is a thin coat of ice on our lake.  Leaves had fallen on the ice and the wind was blowing them around like tiny skaters. 

Shelf in up position
Shelf in down position
Tuesday, I took some bills to be mailed.  Then I went over to the used bread store* to purchase some bread and I then drove to the Woodsmith store.  I was shopping for a bracket support for the shelf I had installed.  They had exactly that for which I was looking.  Unfortunely it was $24 dollars or more.  So from there I went over to Home Depot and picked up one foot of a tiny brass chain for 63 cents.  I used the chain to support the shelf.  Simpler is better.  Simpler and cheaper is great!

You will remember that a couple days ago I awoke to find that one of my LP tanks was empty.  For the last four years, when I had a 100# tank empty, I would load it into the pick, drive to Flying J, get the tank filled, come home and wrestle it back into place on the patio.  Yesterday I asked at the resort office if they would fill the tanks here.  Understand, they have LP tanks that they rent out to campers.  I knew that they provided pick up and delivery of THEIR LP tanks.  Since I own my own tanks, I didn’t know if they would also fill mine.  They said that I just needed to unhook it and move it to the curb.  So I did. 
Today when I got home from our meeting, the LP tank that I’d left for Cutty’s to fill, had been filled.  And it was now setting next to my other tanks.  That was very nice of them to carry it all away up there.

I have found a blog by someone who is both informative and fun to read.  His RV perspective is different than ours because he has been mobile whereas we have been primarily stationary in our RV.  I have only just started reading his blog but I can already recommend it to you.  It is called Homeless On Wheels and this link will take you to his home site.

*Used bread store was a title I bestowed on the day-old bread outlets.  It grossed out my kids so much that I’ve continued calling it that.  With any luck I’ll be able to gross out grandkids and great-grandkids.  Life is good!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Follow up to Truck Camper Disaster

On Monday I posted this picture of an unfortunate truck camper that had decided to retire and settle down in a nice scrap heap.

Well today the camper was attacked by two men and a reciprocating saw.  This is the
result.  Next step is to load the
scrap back into the pick up.

This is kind of sad.  But at least his RV was 'used to death' instead of sitting unused in a storage lot.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This is a follow up to the story of the flat tire from Saturday.  I took the truck in to the Goodyear store and had them put the other three tires on.  And save the best of the old tires for the spare.  So I should be in better shape driving in the snow this winter and have newer tires for towing the HH down to the Austin Texas area in the fall of 2012.
The HH has nearly new tires on it which is also a blessing.  I’ll just need to get the load and the tire pressure checked before we pull out.

It is a nice sunny day and the temp is above freezing by a degree or two.  So, I took the opportunity of such a relatively nice day to top off the freshwater tank.  It took more than I thought it would since we haven’t been using from the tank that often.  I guess I’ll need to monitor it a little closer than I have been.

We dug our little pre-lit Christmas tree out of storage but could not find the legs for it.  I’m hoping that they are in one of the other Christmas storage boxes.  I can’t imagine why they would have ended up in a separate box.  I do have a regular Christmas tree stand that we can use if I don’t find the ones that belong with the tree.
We originally were planning on placing the tree on the table but have decided to put it on our coffee table/footstool.  The coffee table is actually a steamer trunk that is covered with a small blanket type throw.  It works well for both coffee table and footstool in front or the couch.  And of course you can never have too much storage in an RV.  We don’t do a lot of decorating at Christmas.  That isn’t to say that we don’t have a lot of decoration up.  It is just that they are up most of the year.
Somewhere under this pile of snow
is a string of lighted candy canes!!!
When you look like Mr. and Mrs. Claus, you tend to accumulate a lot of Christmas knick-knacks.  These are scattered in strategic places all over the HH.  I even added a shelf, on the fascia board over the slide out, to hold a bunch of Santa’s and Mrs. Clauses.  We, of course, have a North Pole at the edge of our patio.  We have had lighted candy canes (about three foot high) that we’ve tried to have up at Christmas time the last couple of years.  Year before last the canes were completely buried in snow.  And last year we didn’t put them out soon enough and the ground froze so that we couldn’t drive the stakes into the ground.  We had the canes up for Christmas in July and have just left them out.  So, as I said we don’t have a lot of decorating to do for Christmas.

On a completely different note.  This is what I saw when I looked out my window this morning.  It is a picture of the truck camper of a fellow full time RV here at Cutty’s.  He has been living full time it for as long as we have staying here (about 5 years).  The good news is; he just recently bought a motorhome and moved into it.  He had put the truck and camper up for sale.  I wonder if he got it sold?

Living Fulltime in a Fifth-Wheel RV (Part Four)

I’m not an expert – just experienced

Hitch Hiker - notice insulation skirting around bottom
We recently purchased the second RV, a 2001 Hitch Hiker.  We intentionally purchased a smaller fifth-wheel (30’) because it would be easier and less expensive to tow to Texas.  Since we would be living in the Hitch Hiker (from now on referred to as HH) for only about four months of the year, it would not have to have all of the storage space that the RR had.  We did chuckle to ourselves that the trailer we bought to take to Texas is a full four season and the one we were leaving in Iowa was only a three season.  Little did we suspect the changes that were in store for us!
We purchased the HH and made arrangement to have the RR moved from our seasonal site at Cutty’s.  The RR was going into storage so that we could give the HH a good ‘break in’ period.  The plan was to live in the HH through another Iowa winter, spring, summer and fall before heading to Texas.  That would let us become accustomed to the trailer.  The reality of what happened was; the slideout on the RR refused to slide in.  Upon examination, it was discovered that a corner portion of the slideout had suffered water damage and ‘dropped’ several inches.  It may be repairable.  However, since the RV is twenty years old, the cost is likely more than the trailer is worth.  The Cutty’s maintenance staff was able to tow it (with the slideout still in the out position) to the on site storage area. 
The day after 3" of the first snow
Now we are left with the possibility of moveing all of our belongings from the RR to the HH when we had planned to only move a portion of them.  We now need to make plans to either tow the HH to Texas AND BACK or to purchase yet another new RV.   There are other options also such as renting a place to stay, abandoning the idea of moving with the seasons or …. ?  We’ll just have to see what God has in store for us.  For now we are settled in for another Iowa winter in our new home, the HH.  We have already had our first snow of the season.  One to five inches of very heavy, wet snow that took down trees and power lines as well as snarled traffic with accidents.         
(Tomorrow we examine what it takes to be fulltime in an Iowa winter.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

LP Tank Empty On A Cold Morning - Who Is Going To Switch Tanks?

            I awoke about six o’clock this morning and heard the furnace running.  When I went into the bathroom I realized that only cold air was coming out of the vent.  So I said to myself, “Tom!”  And I answered, “Yeah, I know the propane tank is empty.” To which I replied, “One of us is going to have to out and switch tanks.”  “Well, you do it then because you are so much stronger than I am,” I said to myself.  I always fall for that type of flattery so, of course, I got dressed and went out and changed over the tanks.
            (What?  You don’t have those kinds of conversations with yourself early on a cold and blustery day?) Yeah, right!
Now some of you may be asking, “Why don’t you have an automatic switch over on your tanks?”  To with I’ll reply, “I do.  But I like to know when one tank is empty instead of waiting until both tanks are empty to discover that I have no propane.”  
And just to ease your minds about us being cold.  We weren’t, because I have the electric fireplace going for supplemental heat.  When the outside temperature is above freezing, I bump the electric heat up a couple degrees and lower the furnace a couple of degrees.  Then the furnace becomes the supplemental heat and the fireplace the main heat source.  The electric is more efficient but the furnace has to be running to keep the holding tanks warm.
This is our first winter in the Hitch Hiker and I'm still learning just how "Four Season" it really is.  We haven't gotten into the truly cold weather yet but so far we are snug as a bug in a rug.
That is an odd expression isn't it?  Just how snug can a bug be?  Being the curious type, and having access to all the accumulated knowledge of the world at my finger tips, I went on line and found the following. From Shakespeare Garrick's vagary, or, England runmad 1769: "If she  has the mopus's, I'll have her, as snug as abug in a rug."  Interestingly the meaning of the line is, If she has the money, I'll have her as snug as a bug in a blanket.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Trip to Texas


 Here are some more old photos that I found.

When my oldest son was to be married, Ella and I loaded into the conversion van and drove from Des Moines, Iowa to Austin, Texas.  We camped twice on the way down but I only have one picture of the camping.  It was taken in Texas at a small county park and we were the only people there.  We had stopped earlier at a Corp of Engineers park in Waco where I stepped on a hill of fire ants while hooking up to electricity.  That was a shock!
The kids were married at an artists (former) home that sat atop a hill overlooking the city.  The wedding was outside in the shade (thank God for the shade).
I don't remember the name of this place
But we drove a long way on a lonely road
to get here and find that it wasn't open.
So we just took pictures around the outside.
It was an impressive home and built just eight
years before our more modest home.
The reception was amazing.  My son is a chef and he called in favors from vendors and had lots of friends who are chefs prepare an awesome feast.  The meal actually got a standing ovation.

Camped here one night in Texas



It was hot and the pool was bathwater warm

My Kids

Wedding Party

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Post of Old Photos

I just discovered a CD that had some photos from July of 2004 when we were camping at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  This was before we purchased our fifth-wheel.  You'll notice the silver tarp over the tent.  It was 20'x30'.  Normally there would have been a 15x20 screen room under there with the tent.  However, a gusty day, had torn it down and broken several of the plastic sleeves which held it together.  You will also notice that we had about 100 acres to ourselves.  It was still months away from the Iowa State Fair.

Old Records - October 2002 - Chautauqua Greenbelt Park

I was going through some of my old CDs and found some document files that I had created back then.  I've cut and pasted the text but I had embedded a lot of photographs that I don't know how to transfer over.  
Do any of you know how to lift photos from a text document and turn them back into jpeg files?  There were some really nice photos to go with this text and I have no idea where the original photos might be ... or even if I still have them somewhere.

  October 2002 Camping at
a county park in Polk County, Iowa.
       It was cold and windy.  We had just bought a screen tent and set it up instead of the large tent. We wrapped the screen tent in a large tarp and used duct tape to keep it from flapping in the breeze!
      We had heat from the cooking stove and lantern. Actually we had a little too much heat for a little while.  The hose connection from the propane bottle to the stove wasn't quite tight enough and was leaking gas which ignited.  It was quickly extinguished and repaired.        
        We read...  played games... and stared at each other with lust in our eyes. (or maybe it was fumes from the fire!  It might even have been carbon monoxide poisoning from the lantern.)  We slept in the conversion van at night and were toasty warm on the first night below freezing!
       The next morning was breathtaking!  I watched as the sun came up and slowly climbed down from the tree tops on the west side of the lake!  In an amazingly short amount of time, the entire lake was in full sunlight!  The lake is actually the old Skunk River bed which was cut off from the new channel quite a while ago.
      This is a lovely and quiet park with modern bath-rooms and showers.  Mostly electrical sites with a few non electric.  There are nice, level hiking trails just right for the old and lame among us.
      The Buckskinners meet here in the fall.  There are shooting ranges and hunting is allowed in designated places at designated times.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Walnut Woods State Park

            We stopped at Walnut WoodsState Park today.  When we were tent camping, this was our favorite park. Walnut Woods and Brown Woods combined is the largest black walnut forest in the world.  Back then it was totally primitive.  Only about 6 of the 20 sites had electricity.  There was no water and no sewer.  There was no dump station and only a couple of pit toilets.  What we liked about it was that not many RVers used the park.  It really wasn’t really that RV friendly.  They started updating things.  First they put in ‘modern’ toilets with stools and and sinks – but no showers.  At the same time they put in a dump and water station.  Of course these changes started bringing in RVs.  They did a survey a few years back and found that their main traffic was RVs coming in off of the interstate.  So they’ve poured concrete pads and added quite a few full hookup sites.  Any way as I was saying, we stopped to see what was going on.  Nothing!  Not a single camper.  Hmm, makes you wonder if they’ve improved themselves out of business.

            I stopped at our storage unit and brought back some more Christmas items.  I also brought a small cabinet door from the old fifth-wheel.  The cabinets in the two fifth-wheels are identical right down to the hardware.  Handy!  I then used it to make a shelf in the new fifth-wheel.  Right now, I'm using a piece of twin to hold it.  I will be shopping for a hinged support. This is right next to my swivel rocker recliner.  Now I'll have a place to set my drink.  I may never have to get out of the recliner again!  Life is good.

Winter Prep (Part One) Picking the Site

Living Fulltime in an RV – During an Iowa Winter
 I’m not an expert – just experienced
When I'm talking about living in an RV in winter this is what I'm preparing for.
Since the last post was about snow, I thought I’d show y’all (practicin’ my southern accent for NEXT winter) some of the things that we NON snowbirds have to do to survive these northern winters.  Just to be clear, I am NOT talking about winter camping.  I am talking about living in an RV during a northern winter.
I will breaking the preparation into categories and will cover one category a day.  Some information will be repeated in separate posts because some preparation covers more than one area.  (I just don’t want you to think you are having déjà vu when you see the repeated information.) 

Part One – Picking Your Site
The number one thing that needs to be done to prepare an RV for LIVING through the winter is find a place to park so that you don’t have move the darn thing.  Trust me on this, once the cold weather sets in, you do not want to have to move it.  Roads are slick, cross winds are brutal and water lines WILL freeze without heat.  Making your ‘home on wheels’ stationary for months at a time takes some fore thought.
In the middle of a northern winter, no one even considers ‘boondocking’.  At a minimum you want a spot with electricity and sewer.  It is POSSIBLE to do without a freeze proof water source – but not recommended.  You can always carry in or buy five gallon water bottles to drink, wash dishes and bodies, as well as flush the stool.  However, the thought of carrying sewage away from your camp site just seems like an insurmountable obstacle, for me.  Okay if push came to shove, you could use one of those blue totes and drag it through the snow to a dump site.  But – yuck!
If you are staying in a park or resort, find out who maintains, roads, parking, sidewalks, etc. and how often.  What amenities are available to you at the park; are there laundry facilities, showers, pools, exercise equipment, and so on?  What other forms of recreation are available in the local area?  Are there other people staying through the winter and do they get together to socialize?
100# and 30# LP tanks
You will also need to know if you pay for electricity and if you do, is it metered or is it estimated.  Since you will most likely be using a LOT of LP, is it available in the park?  Is LP delivered to your site?  Do they have larger tanks (100 pound) available for rent or exchange?
And how about trash?  Is it picked up at your site?  Do you need to carry it to a dumpster and where is it located?  Are recycle bins available?  What, if any, restrictions are there on what can be placed in dumpster/recycle bins?  Is it permissible to burn paper and cardboard trash in the campfire at your site?
Now, about emergencies; who ya gonna call?  (No! not Ghost Busters)  Is there on-site help for mechanical and electrical problems and how do you contact them?  What days and hours are they available?  Is 911 service available (if you are fulltiming, you most likely are using only a cellphone – cellphones may NOT work with the 911 service since they do not give you LOCATION)?  Where are the closest Doctors, Dentists, Veterinarians, Pharmacies and Hospitals?
(Next topic;  Water Out – Waste Water)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The difference in the day

      Yesterday was so grey all day.  I felt like all the color was washed out of the world.  It was like living in a charcoal drawing.

      Today, the sun came out!  And the temperature dropped!  It finally got all the way up to thirty-three around two p.m.  It's not going to stay above freezing for long today.  Monday through Wednesday it will stay above freezing but only get into the mid 50's for highs.  Really, that's not too bad for the end of November in Iowa.

I keep checking the weather in Austin, TX (it is 80 degrees right now) to get an idea of what it will be like NEXT year when we will winter there.

I have (for the most part) enjoyed our winters since we became full timers.  Maybe it is the greater appreciation of nature that comes along with living in an RV, but even the six foot drift blocking our door a couple of winters ago was not upsetting.

How about you, reader, has your attitude about weather in general changed since you started RVing?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hitch Up and Go

I just discovered a fantastic blog for RVers called Hitch Up and Go.  I have been searching for RV related blogs and this one has a list of blogs and websites for just about anything that you might want to look for RV related.  Really! Whatever you are looking for, start there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Living full-time in a fifth-wheel RV. (Part Three)

I’m not an expert – just experienced

Imagine downsizing from this to a 35' RV
      Cutty's Resort remains open during the winter so it was possible to go ‘full time’ in the RV.  That same year we sold our 1890 Victorian home and became full-timers.
Our dream had been to retire to a ‘mobile lifestyle’.  I envisioned it being something like, waking in the morning and flipping a coin to decide if we were to travel left or right, forward or back.  We were still several years from being able to retire but we were beginning to live a version of the dream.
Our friends and family were concerned for us to the point that when we said we were going to live in the RR during the winter they asked, “Won’t you be cold?”  To which we replied, “I don’t know, ask us again in the spring.”  Well, thanks to following the advice of other full-timers, we made it through that first winter with only minor difficulties.  And, “No” we were not cold.  We learned to use foil-backed foam insulation to skirt the trailer.  We also learned to use ‘trouble lights’ to provide just a little heat behind the RV refrigerator. (Unlike household refrigerators which use a compressor, RV refrigerators rely on evaporation and must have heat to work.)  We learned to use plastic film to cover the windows.  We learned how to depend on the fresh water tank for water and how to keep the water lines from freezing.  But most of all we learned how beautiful God’s world is in the winter.
We watched the leaves on the trees around the lake turn from green to bright fall colors and then to abandon the trees for the winter.  We watched the sunlight sparkle so brightly on the lake that it almost hurt your eyes.  We watched the geese and ducks invade and then leave as they passed through to warmer areas.  Gold finches changed to their drab green fall color.  Rabbits, raccoons, deer and hawks became the winter time entertainment replacing the song birds of summer.  We discovered that the winter sun shining on snow and ice mimicked the sunlight sparkle of the summer lake.  We discovered how little we needed for us to be happy.
For the next couple of years we made the resort our home base.  However, we also were able to volunteer as camp hosts at a couple of Corp of Engineer parks around Saylorville Lake.  We both were still working full time (though we were both doing temp work).  
In the years since then we have both retired.  Ella was tired of waiting for new temp jobs to open.  I had a heart attack that made me even more aware of how quickly things can change.  Since retiring, we have done more work camping and some part-time jobs. 
Now that we qualify for Medicare it will give us more freedom to travel without worrying about whether our insurance will be honored.  Our plan is to travel to the Austin Texas area for the winter of 2012-2013 and then return to Iowa for the summer months.  However, we’ll see how those plans work out.  They have already gone through some revision.  The original plan was to purchase another RV to take to Texas.  We would then leave that one in storage in the south and return to Iowa and live in the RR. (to be continued)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Here is an interesting Blog

Steve's RV Travelogue: Carlsbad Caverns
This is a blog by another RVer.  There are some great pictures here from inside Carlsbad Caverns.  In a later post he has a fairly impressive shot of a storm front moving across the desert in Arizona.  I think I'm going to go back and read some more of his older posts.  Seems like the sort of person we'd like to get to know.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Living Fulltime in a Fifth-Wheel RV (Part Two)

For about three years prior to the cancer incident, we had begun looking at travel trailers, motor-homes, and fifth-wheels.  We had pretty good ideas about what we wanted for when we retired.  It had to be a full four season RV with a decent kitchen area and lots of closet space.  The type of RV was something on which we had not come to agreement. 
I liked the idea of a Class A motor home – you know – those big busses – not fancy van conversions.  Ella hated the idea of a motor home.  “I don’t want a steering wheel in my living room,” was one of her frequent remarks.
We owned two conversion vans and therefore began looking primarily at travel trailers that could be pulled by the vans.  We received confusing and conflicting advice from sales people when we asked what size trailer we could pull with the van.  Some said we could pull any thing on the lot and some said it had to be towable by a ¼ ton vehicle.  I finally went to the GMC dealer (since the one we planned to use was a GMC) and asked for his expert advice.  The advice was, “Both are correct.”  As long as we were staying local with the unit we could handle any trailer that could be pulled by a ¾ ton truck.   However, since it was a conversion van, the transmission was geared differently and would not work for long hauls with a heavy unit. 
Road Ranger and Sierra 2500 HD
I remarked to the GMC salesman that eventually I would probably upgrade to a ¾ ton truck which would solve my problem.  “Funny you should mention that,” he said. “Come look at this truck that I just took in on trade.”  Yes, I bought it! It was a ¾ ton extended cab with both a fifth-wheel receiver and a bumper hitch. Since the pick up already had a fifth-wheel receiver, it opened us up to looking at fifth-wheels.
The same weekend that we bought the truck we also bought a used 1991 Road Ranger 35Y fifth-wheel manufactured by K.I.T.  Nearly 37 feet long with an amble galley kitchen and lots of storage space, it was very nearly what we had been envisioning.  It was not a full four season trailer.  However, this was only to be our ‘first’ trailer and not the one we retired into.
We picked the Road Ranger (RR for short) up on a Wednesday in the middle of April and took it home.  That Friday night we took it out for a weekend of camping.  We returned home only to pick up more ‘stuff’ until the Corp of Engineers Parks closed on October 30th
Keep in mind that we were still working so we had to stick fairly close to home – just like we had done when tent camping.  We had adult kids living at home with us and they kept the ‘sticks and bricks’ house going while we camped.
The next year we bought a membership with Cutty’s Des Moines Camping Club which is a members' owned resort in the Des Moines area.   The campground is over eighty acres of gently rolling sparsely forested hills with an eleven acre fishing lake in the middle. The resort has amenities such as; two outdoor pools, wading pool, eighteen hole miniature golf, western play village, giant slide, playgrounds, basket ball courts, horseshoe pitching areas, sand volley ball, shuffle board and tennis courts.  It is much like the small towns in which Ella and I grew up. There is a general store, café, laundry facilities, RV parts store, repair shop and a large “main street” meeting area where there are all types of entertainment every weekend during the camping season. One of the biggest attractions for us was the large clubhouse which remains open year around.  The clubhouse has in indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, exercise room, showers, and laundry.
 (to be continued)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Living Fulltime in a Fifth-Wheel RV (Part One)

The genesis of this story goes back a long time.  I’m not sure of the exact year when it happened but I know that it was at least a decade ago, maybe closer to two.  The company, for which I was then working, added a new benefit to our package.  The new benefit was the chance to purchase Cancer Insurance at a discount.  It was set up so that my wife and I would both be covered.  It was for a one-time payout if either of us was ever diagnosed with cancer.  Because cancer has eaten away at both sides of our family, it seemed like a good idea to take the policy.
In 2003 Ella’s mammogram came back showing a spot.  It was as tiny as a grain of salt.  They performed a biopsy and found it was indeed breast cancer.  The good news was that the biopsy had removed it all.   However, to be double sure, she had a lumpectomy and radiation treatments in January 2004.  The cancer is gone, thank God. 
We sent the paperwork to the insurance company and received a check with which we paid the doctor.  There was money left over. What to do?
With a new perspective of our own mortality, we resolved to start doing some of those things that were planned for our retirement.  We loved camping and so determined to get away more often.  We had been tent campers since early in our marriage.  We would often spend two week stints several times a year living in our tents even while going to work every day. 

View from screen room into tent

View from tent into screen room
20x30 Tarp over the entire set up. This picture was taken when we had a much smaller screen room and the shower tent had not been purchased yet.
Now to understand us, it helps to understand ‘how’ we tent camped.  First there was the tent.  It was 12’x17’ and had 3 rooms with 2 ‘pop out’ closets.  Then we had a screen room which was 15’x20’ which was butted up to the front door of the tent. Then there was the shower tent that butted up to the back door of the tent.  Over the entire layout was a 20’x30’ silver, sun-blocking tarp.  The tarp sat on a home-made frame.  We also had a tarp as a water barrier under the entire set up.  We then had a carpet scrap that covered the tent floor.  We stacked two queen-size air mattresses for our bed. 
In the screen room, we had a plywood counter top laid across a series of plastic stacking drawers in the kitchen area.  Two of the drawers also acted as sinks for washing and rinsing dishes.  We used a propane stove that had two burners, a grill, and a tiny oven about 4”x6”x10”. Folding tables and chairs sat in the dining area and camp chairs in the sitting room area.  Both tents were well illuminated by Coleman lanterns powered by a couple of 20 pound LP tanks.
I mentioned the shower tent, well; we had a battery powered submersible pump that connected to a hand held shower wand.  On the floor of the tent was a very small inflatable ‘kiddy’ pool.
If we camped where there was electricity, you might also find a mini-fridge and a microwave.
With nearly 600 square feet of living space, we were far from ‘roughing it’.  As a matter of fact we often pitied the people in their travel trailers and motor homes for having to live such ‘cramped’ lives.
We lived very well when we tent camped.  However, as all good things do, there came a time when the set up, tear down and put away part of camping became too much for us.  After you’ve rolled up all of that canvas and find yourself on your knees looking for something to help pull you back to your feet, which is when you begin to think about travel trailers.   (to be continued)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2011 November 09

First snow of the season has descended upon us.
First snow of the season, November 9, 2011. 1-3" in our area.

          The snow was very wet and heavy.  Parts of Des Moines were/are without power because of dropped power lines and trees.  Lots of accidents early (4-5) this morning when the snow began to accumulate.
Strange how the first snow or even the first rain after a dry spell, brings out the worst drivers.  Or maybe it is just the drivers with the shortest memory, who have forgotten how to drive when the streets become wet.
          The sun is out now and the temps are to be in the mid 40’s so this snow will not last.  It should have a chance to soak in before the temps drop into the 20’s tomorrow morning.
          We had an abbreviated number of men at our Bible study this morning.  I am assuming the snow was the cause of people not choosing to drive in from the suburbs.