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September 2006

Yes, once again it's been a long time since an update.  Sorry about that folks.  We've really been working harder and longer hours than planned, since someone left the company I've been covering two territories.  OK, enough about that 4 letter word W O R K.  It's time for a mega-update from Chris... 

 

 

Sunday, September 3 – Monday September 4:

We finally left Reno and headed for Salt Lake City. We had stayed a week longer than we had planned on staying and we enjoyed it. We had dumped and filled on Sunday August 27 at Baldini's for $5.00. After getting back to the Peppermill Casino we moved over to the RV parking area that’s located in another parking lot across from the back of the casino. We enjoyed staying in this parking lot, it was quiet, and no one bothered us, only a short walk to the casino, so it was very nice.

So we again dumped and filled at Baldini’s before leaving Reno. We also filled up with gas and got propane while there. We finally hit the road after about an hour getting all this done. There were a lot of RVs out on the road. We’ve read that there was less traveling this summer due to higher gas prices but there are many RVs out on the road this weekend.

We stopped in Elko Nevada and spent the night at a Super Wal-Mart there close to the highway. There are about 5 other RVs spending the night there also. We don’t have a long distance to drive on Monday so we goofed off for quite a while in the morning on the internet before leaving. But we finally did leave and headed out again towards SLC.

We stopped to fill up again in Wendover Nevada, last stop before hitting Utah. We were very fortunate this weekend and both places we stopped for gas were very reasonably priced. From the highway in Wendover you can see the salt flats and they stretch for miles. It’s quite amazing to see. We drove through here last year so I won’t go into detail regarding the salt flats. We also stopped in Wendover for lunch at a fast food restaurant. Yuck, fast food!

We arrived in the Salt Lake City area and drove up to Hill AFB in the late afternoon. We got set up on out site and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Tuesday, September 5 – Friday, September 8:

We worked very hard all week on the business side of life. We didn’t do much exploring in the area either. We’re both tired after working so we just relax in the evenings. We had planned on staying in the area for only 4-5 days and then leaving; but we have had so much work to do that we decided to extend our stay another week. We get good cell phone coverage here, the weather is nice, and we want to see some sites so we’ll stay.

One thing that we have here that Mac had never seen before is goat head stickers. I remember them from when I was a kid. They do not feel good if you happen to step on one with bare feet. They can flatten tires on a bike; bring grown men to the knees crying like a baby, etc. Here’s an article about them with pictures: www.socorro.com/fattire/goatheads.html

Saturday September 9:

Today, we drove down to Salt Lake City and visited Temple Square. We took one of the guided tours. The tabernacle wasn’t open for viewing; it’s being renovated. That was a bummer; we’d really looked forward to seeing it. But the rest of the square was interesting to see. We also stopped in at one of the family research locations and I looked up some genealogy. There is also a huge Family History Library that is free to use. Maybe before we leave here I’ll go over there and do some more research. We also did quite a bit of walking around the downtown area.

Sunday, September 10:

We drove out to visit Antelope Island State Park today. It’s an island located in the Great Salt Lake; to reach it you drive over a 7-8 mile causeway. It was a great day to visit there too; the weather was beautiful; plenty of sunshine with a nice light breeze. This park has approximately 600 bison, or as we like to call them buffalo. There are also pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep. We didn’t see any of the bighorn sheep but one of the first animals we saw after arriving on the island was some pronghorn antelope. They are so interesting to see too. Their antlers are so different than deer or elk. We saw plenty of buffalo too! They were awesome to see. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing them singly and in herds.

Wonder why they call it Antelope Island? -- Click photo above for more pictures

There are many trails to hike on the island but we stayed on the road and drove to all the sites to see. We visited the visitor center and I think it is one of the ugliest buildings I’ve ever seen! I thought the exterior was being renovated but no, that’s the way it was built to look. Ugly!

We drove to the Fielding Garr Ranch on the island. The ranch was interesting to see, it dates from back in the 1840’s and there are many of the original buildings there to see and volunteers to provide information. There were a couple of humming bird feeders located at the house and we got to see several pretty humming birds.

We very much enjoyed visiting the park and we had a wonderful day there. There is a campground located on the island and the island would be a nice place to stay. We’re going to continue staying on the base; maybe the next time we’re in the area we’ll stay out on the island.

Here are a few links to Antelope Island:
http://www.utah.com/stateparks/antelope_island.htm

http://www.stateparks.utah.gov/park_pages/scenicparkpage.php?id=aisp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope_Island_State_Park

 

Monday, September 11 – Friday, September 16:

We worked very hard this workweek trying to get ahead of the work, like that would ever happen. We went to the gym here on base a couple of times and I rode the bike and Mac worked out with weights. I went down to Salt Lake City to go thrift shopping. Once I figured out the street numbering it wasn’t too hard to get around. I had a good time and found lots of good stuff. We are now fully loaded with thrift store finds for the family.

We’d planned on heading up to Yellowstone this weekend and then working our way across country from there. I’ve been watching the weather and a cold front is coming in this weekend. It’s very cold up in the Yellowstone area, lows in the teens, too cold for us southerners. So we’re not going there to visit this year.

It started raining on Thursday and rained most of Friday. It seems to be getting colder as the day goes on. Weather forecast for snow in the higher elevations! We’re out of here baby! We woke up Saturday morning and I looked out the window and there was some white stuff on the ground, snow! We don’t do snow! What’s it doing snowing!? We’re leaving here today and we’ll wait a little while and let Mr. Sun do his thing to warm up the ground and especially the bridges.

I forgot to mention the bit of excitement that I had on Thursday. Mac was gone getting new tires put on our car. While he was gone the wind and rain of a cold front started coming through. I had to bring in the awning. I tried and tried to bring it in and a neighbor man came over and helped me. I’d forgotten to bring down the arm supports first. It had been several months since we’d used to awning so I’d forgotten all the steps to bring it in. Thankfully I had a neighbor that helped me. We both got wet but it could have been worse.

7:00 AM -- Saturday, September 16

Mother nature says it's time for us to leave Utah. 

Saturday, September 16 (continued):

As mentioned previously we woke up to some snow. It was really pretty on the mountains but it’s pretty cold stuff. I picked some up to throw at Mac and we had a mini-snowball fight, mini meaning the snowballs were little and it didn’t last long. Snow is COLD stuff to handle, especially when neither of us has any gloves. We decided to wait until the snow melted some and the roads warmed up before we hit the road. So first we goofed off on the internet and then we got everything ready to go.

While getting the freshwater tank filled with water Mac started talking with our neighbor; they too are from Florida. They had just bought a new RV about a week earlier. They are heading to Yellowstone. I told her that the temps up in Yellowstone are in the teens for lows but they should have no problems. Their new RV has heated tanks, bays, etc. So they are going to have a great time up there. They’d heard that the cold weather had brought all the animals down to the lower meadows. They’ll be seeing a lot of animals.

While we were getting the RV ready to go a small parade went by. The Toyland at the BX is officially opening for the Christmas season. Santa came by along with others in the parade. It’s not even October yet and already we see Santa!

We finally left and headed out. We’re heading north first and then east. We drove up I-15 and took I-84 east to connect with I-80. I-84 has some pretty sights on it. We stopped and took a picture of the Devil’s Slide. Off and on throughout our drive this morning and early afternoon we hit areas of snow, or sleet, or rain. But finally we get out of all that stuff and hit dry driving. There is a wind though.

We stopped at a very nice parking area for lunch today. I guess out here where the stops are few and far between they provide parking areas for truckers to rest. This one was very nice with regular long parking spots instead of just some parallel spots. Since it was so cold we had some nice warm soup with our sandwiches. We stopped at Little America for gas and it was on $2.59. Gas prices have sure come down since they went up so much several months ago.

On our drive we see many prong horn antelope, I think we’ve seen hundreds today. I guess they’ve come down from the high country too because of the cold. They are so cool to see from the road.

As mentioned we had wind today. The wind increased when we were about 25-35 miles from our projected stop for the night at Laramie. We think it was gusting to 45+. We’re driving along and all of a sudden there was an awful noise and we quickly figured out that it was the awning. We safely pulled over to the side of the road, got out and tried to fix it. The wind was just too strong though. So we slowly drove down to the next exit and stopped under the bridge for the interstate. There were about 5 other RVs there hiding from the strong wind. But for our purposes the wind was too strong even under there so we drove down the road and found a spot to turn the RV so that the wind wouldn’t be as strong on the awning side. We worked and worked at it and we thought we’d solved the problem so we got back on the interstate; but shortly it came undone again. We pulled over on the side of the road again. Thankfully, the winds died this time and we could work on the awning better. Unfortunately, the awning had torn and it wouldn’t roll up properly. So Mac got the ladder out and the duct tape and fixed it where it won’t come open again. The awning is officially broken since it ripped so we’ll be replacing it. Thank God for insurance, hopefully it will pay enough that we don’t have to shell out too much to replace the awning. We’re going to wait until we get to Texas to have it looked at and the cost estimated for replacement.

We finally got to our stop for the night at the Wal-Mart in Laramie. It was COLD too, temperatures in the low 30’s for tonight. We huddled under the covers with the cat to keep warm.

Sunday, September 17:

We drove far enough east today that we’re past the cold front and the weather is a little warmer. We drove to Wal-Mart in York Nebraska and spent the night. It was warm enough that we didn’t need the cat to help keep us warm, only two blankets and a quilt.

Monday, September 18:

Worked half day and then drove to the Wal-Mart in Chillicothe Missouri to spend the night. We’re so close now to my daughter’s house. I can hardly wait to get there. We filled the gas tank while here and the price was $2.19, what a great price. We were told that around St. Louis the price is around $2.02.

Tuesday, September 19 – Friday September 22:

On Tuesday we worked half the day and drove the rest of the way to daughter’s house in Rushville IL. Daughter Tina is gone to San Antonio for the rest of the week so we get to spend some time with the granddaughters after they come home from school. Also by us being here they can stay in their own home instead of with friends while their mom is gone.

Friday night Tina is expected home around ten but due to bad weather in the Midwest her flight out of Chicago to Springfield IL was canceled about 20 minutes before boarding. The earliest flight that she could hope to get home would have been Sunday, but estimated that it would probably be Tuesday before they could hope to get a flight out of there. So she and a co-worker were lucky enough to rent a car and drove to Springfield airport to pick up their own cars. They also gave a ride to two other ladies that were trying to get to the Springfield airport. Poor Tina drug in about 3:30 in the morning, boy was she tired. Of course, I had stayed up too waiting on her to get in, so I was almost as tired as she was.

Saturday, September 23:

Granddaughter Amanda is participating in a parade today as a band member. We drove over to Beardstown to see the parade and we got to see her marching with her band down the street. It was so neat to see her in her uniform, playing her instrument and marching by. I just had to yell and whoop at her!

Later after we returned home Tina and I drove to Springfield so that she could return the rental car. The Springfield airport closes every night at about ten so she needed to return it today. We were also hoping that her luggage would be in from Chicago while we’re here. Thankfully, they told her that her luggage is arriving and the plane would be landing in about 20 minutes. Great timing on our part!

Since we had to drive all the way to Springfield we hit a few thrift stores while there. Yeah, like I’d go to some city without checking out the thrift stores! We had a great time and found a lot of good bargains.

Sunday, September 24 – Saturday, September 30:

We’ve been here in Rushville IL visiting with our family. Nothing too much going on to write about. Daughter Tina took Wednesday off and we drove to Quincy IL to visit thrift stores there. We were sadly disappointed with the amount of stores and the prices in them. We only found two thrift stores and the rest of the stores were resale or consignment shops. Needless to say consignment stores don’t have the best prices, so we did not get many bargains in Quincy.

We did have a good time visiting together though so the day wasn’t a total washout. The weather has been pretty good with no COLD weather. The leaves are turning and Fall is in the air. Saturday I raked leaves for the first time in many years. At first I thought it would be fun but it turns out it is just work. I don’t miss raking leaves or shoveling snow. I haven’t had that experience this trip and I hope that I don’t. Friday we drove the RV over to the RV Park and dumped the tanks for $10.00, kind of pricey to just dump but it’s the only place close around to do so.

September Camping Fees Report

Camping fees are still trending the same

 

Year Avg $ per Nite # Dry # Elect # FHU # Free %Dry % Free
2006 to date $8.11 136 27 107 129 50% 48%
About this time last year 8.23 167 17 85 96 62% 36%

Continue to October 2006

What did we do last September?  Click here for September 2005

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