Saturday, October 11, 2014


Kelly’s cold has worsened with a lot of coughing in the night & she is feeling like a train wreck this morning.  We made the decision to head for Congress Arizona.  Kelly’s primary biliary cirrhosis of the liver drains her energy levels quickly & her auto immune system has trouble with that.  We have to think a little differently about how we do things now as opposed to a few years ago & that is taking a little getting used to for us.  Our plans are to return to South Dakota again on our way West next Fall via the Chicago route.  Much shorter  (& less expensive) than the Lake Superior way for sure & we can catch the Badlands on the way to Custer State Park, Crazy Horse, & the Devil’s Tower..   Priority now is to get into warmer air & back to our South-Western home.  The dropping temperature & 80% chance of rain for the Custer area Sunday was also a deciding factor in moving on. 
A warm sunny morning in Sturgis as we dumped tanks & packed up.  We climbed aboard I-90 right by the RV Park entrance about 9 a.m. & headed out.  One of the many great things I like about the West is way less traffic on the roads & today was a fine example of that.  Heading West on I-90 there were long stretches of road with no vehicles visible ahead or behind especially in Wyoming.  That is really something for an Interstate & I-90 was like that all the way most of the day.  Even I-25 south from Buffalo had very little traffic on it.  The Big EEE seemed energized so we gave our Steed the lead & she ran like the wind.  It was just a great driving day all round.  Our second best day since leaving Bayfield around the end of September.  We had the tunes just a poppin & all that sunshine for sure picked up our Spirits.
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There was one other thing that had us down a few days ago which I didn’t blog about.  On our way to Rouleau Saskatchewan (Corner Gas) a few days ago we came upon a couple trucks kinda blocking the road.  A driver waved us down a gravel road.  Figured maybe an accident had just occurred ahead & had the highway blocked or something.  The 2 truckers may have picked that up on their CB’s.  Without thinking I turned the rig onto the gravel road figuring we could just go around the concession & return to the highway further up.  Took our time & worked our way around getting back to the highway again.  It wasn’t until later when we stopped in to a Rouleau Convenience Store to check for any Corner Gas souvenirs that we shockingly saw the front end of our Jeep.  Both headlights smashed, both fog lights smashed & the windshield was cracked & pitted.  All that from the gravel stones kicked up from the rigs tires.  We can still drive the Jeep OK but not at night until we get new headlights installed.  DSC_0090
Called our insurance company & it will be covered.  You can imagine how bad we both felt & especially me.  I spend enough time on gravel roads at home to know about flying stones.  Then later that night we discovered the electrical problem with our coach.  Add to that being tired from fighting weather conditions previously & the fact neither one of us hardly got any sleep in Williston North Dakota & maybe you can understand how dejected & depressed we felt.  That’s when the thought of just heading back home to Bayfield came up so you can see how one should never make important decisions in times of duress & stress.  DSC_0029
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All that took until today to finally ease up enough for us to get ourselves back on track, crank up the tunes & begin to feel like happy traveling campers again.  No more talk about selling the RV, our house in Congress, & giving up the RV life & resigning ourselves to our recliners in front of the TV forever.   Kelly just relaxing in her comfy leather navigator’s seat enjoying the rolling & gently sweeping grassy hills of scenic southern Wyoming going by.  No walking, hiking, trouble shooting or stressful worrying, just soaking up some nice warm healing sunshine knowing we will soon be in our beloved South-West once more.  
It was somewhere East of Buffalo Wyoming about 11:20 this morning when I spotted something familiar on the far Western horizon.  It stretched clear across & appeared to be a bit pointy.  Clouds perhaps?  No sireeeee, I recognize mountains when I sees em.  Oh what a great feeling that was to once again see my beloved mountains.  Last time I saw mountains was in our former Winnie Wagon’s rear view mirror late last March as Colorado slowly drifted off behind us.  Today was the first day I had that good South-West feeling back again.  And it will stay with me all winter until I once again reluctantly watch those fading mountains disappear in my rear view mirror once again.
Again, thanks to readers for there suggestion & thoughts on trying to help with our electrical problem.  What complicates the trouble shooting is the fact our rig has been starting fine with the ignition key the last 3 days & we have not had to use the power boost feature.  Also our water pump is working again because we had water today.  Side steps are working as well but no power to our coach plugs or  microwave.  A perplexing problem which I’m sure will take some expertise to solve.  First thing we’ll do when we reach Congress is have the garage check our engine battery & alternator.   If that checks out OK we will go from there.
Tonight we are in Rawlins Wyoming.  Gassed up & pulled into a large gravel parking lot area.  Looks like a trucking company lot.  Pheebs took Kelly out for a walk & they met the owner of the parking area we were in.  He said sure you can park here.  In fact if you pull over there onto that concrete you will be a little more level & out of the wind & enjoy your stay.  A little Wyoming hospitality methinks:))
GROANER’S CORNER:(( "I'm sorry," said the clerk in flower shop, "we don't have potted geraniums. Could you use African violets instead?"  Replied the customer sadly, "No, it was geraniums my wife told me to water while she was gone."


  1. If you had no traffic on the interstate, imagine how little I see when I'm driving the U.S. and State routes. I love driving through the occasional little towns and trying to imagine what they were like in their haydays!

    I hope Kelly feels better soon. I am having sore throat, coughing, etc. too, and hope it's just allergies.

  2. Methinks you're going to leave us in the dust here in Moab Utah. And I do mean guest. The dirt bike riders and SUVs and ATVs all cranked up for the weekend today and left Moab under a brown cloud

  3. Hope happy thoughts and warm sunshine lead you back to Congress. Feel better...BOTH of you.

  4. Your gravel damage makes the Dalton Highway look like a freeway. I'm sorry to see that you're missing out on some of your intended destinations, but glad to hear you'll be in Congress soon. Take care!

  5. It always warms the cockles of my heart when I see the mountains off in the distance as I round a curve that leads to a straight away and a magnificent view.

    So glad to hear that Kelly is feeling a bit better. The warm climate will help her. You are getting close to "home".
    Stay well...

  6. We here in Phoenix have to deal with those windshield issues on a regular basis (I am on my third windshield in three years just from regular commuting), but it sounds like it all came together in a perfect storm of issues for you on your trip. Hope the rest of your trip is uneventful, and that you arrive safely in just a few days at your lovely home in Congress. Is the white tiger awaiting you there?

  7. Guess you have two choices, either get one of those shields that attach to the jeeps bumper or wherever or stay away from gravel roads.

  8. Just made me sick seeing the picture of the front of your Jeep. Can only imagine what you felt like. Glad to hear your insurance will cover the cost but it's still a downer. Trust things go better for you on the next leg of you travels and Kelly's health continues to improve.

  9. Get the heck outa Rawlins, the weather is supposed to be snow and rain tomorrow!!!

  10. Hope those electrical gremlins stay away until you are in Congress.
    If it starts and runs, you have no alternator or chassis battery problem.

    I was reading a site about how big RV inverter / charger units are wired and It explained a lot to me. ( I must have been really bored ). Yes you may have a failed one, but have a pro check it out.

    Loved those road pics tonight.

  11. "The Big EEE seemed energized so we gave our Steed the lead & she ran like the wind"! Hope Kelly is soon feeling as good as your words are sounding.

  12. OH bad luck re gravel damage _ hope your Kelly is feeling better. I must apologies for thinking u American - have since printed out maps to aquaint myself with places (my geography lesson each day) & now know u r from Canada. Boy u are travelling a long way to follow the sun cheers from Australia

  13. Too bad about the gravel damage, When we go on gravel roads we have always disconnected our car, just for that reason.
    Enjoy the rest of your journey.

  14. Kelly, sure hope you feel better soon. I know the warmth of the sun will really make a difference. At least it does for me. Your poor Jeep looks so sad.

  15. We never once had the guts to pull our motor home into a McDonals.

    Oh goodness, sorry to read about the Jeep issue. What a mess for such a short drive on gravel. Hope all works out getting it fixed.

    Glad to read that Kelly is feeling better. Nothing worse than being sick while you travel.

  16. Gosh, I hope Kelly feels better soon. As a teacher, I get EVERY germ the kiddos bring into the classroom. I've already had a stomach virus TWICE this school year and something else which left me completely without energy for 3 days! Oye Vei!
    Cheryl Ann

  17. When we bought the new Jeep we also bought this screen thing that goes over the tow bar to protect the Jeep from rocks. Although the Alfa had a big flap, the Accent had lots of little dings on her nose. We removed the flap when the screen was installed, and our milegage has improved slightly. But the screen is a bit of a pain in the you know what! We burned a big hole in it with the tail pipe making a very tight turn on our last drive and are waiting for a replacement. Blue Ox is sending it for free, but we will have to have our tail pipe rerouted to avoid this happening again.

    That damage to your headlights is really sad.

  18. Here is hoping Kelly starts feeling better before you get to Congress.
    The stone damage to the Jeep could also include the paint.
    As Merikay said the heavy rubber flaps will affect your fuel mileage because they act like an air dam. We use the brush on our truck even though we have mudflaps. So far no chipped paint on the trailer and no loss of fuel mileage.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  19. How terrible about your jeep. I'd be pretty bummed out about that too. What a pain. So glad to hear at least your outlook on things has gotten better. You sound pretty up beat. Sure hope Kelly begins to feel better and they can find your electrical snafoo. What a nice owner to welcome you to spend the night. We've never even thought of just pulling into a big parking lot and checking it out. Not sure it would work for us we don't have Pheebs and the beautiful Kelly. Lucky you!

  20. I think those big brushes on EEE will help. We did the Haul Road to Prudhoe Bay and expected what you GOT!..Tell Kelly I have had a chronic cough and terrible head junk for almost 6 weeks. I got a Z-Pak (antibiotics) and that helped..but I still have the cough. I am afraid of getting a flu shot until it goes away!!!Hope that Arizona sunshine works it's magic!

  21. Ah the power of old Sol to improve our physical and mental outlook! Having "home" to look forward to is an added bonus :-) The ol' Jeepster just needs a day of plastic surgery and the face will be fine again! Love the pics of the highway - wonderful country.

  22. The sun is a great healer. Bad luck about the gravel damage but sometimes things like that happened due to a spur of the moment decision.

    Hang in there kelly, I'm sure you will be feeling better soon.

  23. Glad you waited before you made any hasty decisions:) So sorry to see your Jeep. Hope Kelly gets home to Congress and gets to the doctor soon. Feel better Kelly:)

  24. Glad you waited before you made any hasty decisions:) So sorry to see your Jeep. Hope Kelly gets home to Congress and gets to the doctor soon. Feel better Kelly:)

  25. Wow, that's terrible about the Jeep. Good thing it's covered by your insurance, though. Bummer. :(

  26. Sure glad you have good insurance for all that glass damage on the jeep. What a drag. I get the heading to warmer climate and am not too far behind you. I leave the NR in a week and head south myself. See ya' there.

  27. I'm so sorry about your jeep. The self inflicted wounds are always the worst. We accidentally put gas in our diesel truck this summer and had to have the entire fuel system replaced at a cost of over $10,000. Fortunately our insurance covers it but only the first time. Diesel generally has a green cover on the handle but at BP Stations they put the green on the regular gas. We don't have BP stations in our neck of the woods. Don't feel bad. It happens to all of us somewhere along the way. Hope Kelly feels better soon.

  28. Yikes, you two have certainly had some challenges on your trip. I hope things get better and you get closer to Congress. Sometime life feels like a "kick in the pants." Healing thoughts for Kelly, and I hope the rest of your travels are "uneventful."