Thursday, February 27, 2014

Camp KitchiKoomee

I refer to our current 'camp' ground as Camp KitchiKoomee. It is all that... and more!
OK, so it isn't a campground... it is a resort. That is the first difference. The last time I knew, there were 1900 sites - some of which have 'park models' on them. However, they are madly burying new 'village homes'. In my day, as a youngster, I would have called them a double-wide trailer! Here, they dig a pit and plant the modular pieces so it looks more like a home. (Since the satellite view was posted on Google they have probably planted about 2 dozen homes in the sandy area along the golf course and near the softball field.)


The resort is a 55+ community... but half the people act like little kids, so I don't miss seeing little ones. There is nothing lacking. If someone comes, and doesn't see something they want to do, well, they can volunteer to lead a club or class or activity period.

Here are just a few of the options gleaned from the website and my own experiences:

Crafts 

  • Pottery
  • Sewing
  • Quilting
  • Stained glass
  • Craft fairs
  • Card making/Scrapbooking
  • Watercolors
  • Woodshop
  • Photography
  • Wood carving
  • Lapidary
  • Silversmith



Dancing

  • Square dancing
  • Line dancing
  • Saturday night dances
  • Couples dancing
  • Variety
  • Western




Games

  • Bridge
  • Pinochle
  • Cribbage
  • Pegs & Jokers
  • Bingo
  • Canasta
  • Mah Jong
  • Dominoes
  • Hand and Foot
  • Texas Hold'em
  • Euchre
  • Poker



Classes

  • Stained Glass
  • Pottery
  • Computer
  • Silversmith
  • Lapidary
  • Woodcarving
  • Oil Painting
  • Tennis
  • Yoga/Pilates
  • Line Dancing
  • Square Dancing
  • Aerobics (water ) 


Sports

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Billiards
  • Shuffleboard
  • Water Volleyball
  • Lawn Bowling
  • Pickleball
  • Soft Ball
  • Horse shoes
  • Putting green
  • Biking
  • RC Control cars/planes




As you would expect, I have been playing some pickleball. I have also tried my hand at water volley ball (which I love) and lawn bowing - a real challenge at a slow pace!

Oh, I forgot to mention that the dogs are having fun, too. They have numerous small dog parks around the grounds, as well as an agility park near the ball field. Their favorite friend is Bella, a two-year old Sheltie. She loves to run and have my guys chase her! Tucker and Gypsy will have their own class this morning... in fact, I need to get going to get them to their activity!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bath Day

I certainly hope that you are going to make her suffer the
same indignity that you imposed on me!


Ha! Good! You had that stinky stuff smeared all over you, too!
You can't rub it off - it doesn't work. I tried!


OMG... we smell terrible!
 I don't understand how Dreaming could 
begin to think that stuff smells good!



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Playing Leap Frog


As we were driving along I-10 in Arizona we played “Leap Frog” with another motorhome. We passed them. They passed us. We passed them, again.

Having been occupied with driving and navigating... well, having not paid attention to the driver or passenger... with each ‘contact’ we Dreamers began speculating about the owners of the motorhome, putting pieces of evidence together: the model of motorhome, the colors of the RV and the car, the brand of the car being towed, and the license plate showing where the coach came from.

Considering all of the millions of motorhomes on the road, what are the probabilities of running into someone you know along an Interstate highway?! 

Imagine our fun in discovering that friends we met last year were heading the same way we were, and that within a week we would both be at the same campground! We were parked next to the Hehr's at the service center last year, and then ended up at the same resort in Arizona.

Once we realized who we were playing leap frog with... and they realized who we were... we had a round of emails sharing phone numbers, and then chatted for a bit. We are looking forward to seeing them at the campground soon.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Murphy's Law


You know about Murphy’s Law, right? The law states that if something is going to go wrong, it will, at the most inopportune place and time....


We just experienced Murphy’s Law on our trip across country. We were approaching Dallas-Forth Worth, yeah...what fun! Suddenly, Mr. Dreamy commented that a light had popped up on the dash, and he asked me to find out what the light was trying to tell us. That all sounds reasonable and calm - but it wasn’t. Trust me!

A quick look through one of several manuals told me the light is an MIL light. Now, that’s helpful! I didn’t suppose that it stood for Mother-in-law! I couldn’t find out what it meant in any one of a dozen books we have, so I had to call Cummins to find out that it is a “Malfunction Indicator Light”. It means something isn’t working, or wasn’t working, quite right. It means the engine sensed a problem. It may have fixed the problem, or it may still exist, but we should have it checked out. Okay.... it is approaching 4:00 PM on a Friday. Who are they kidding?! 

We have a list of repair facilities. I call the Dallas number. “Sorry, M’am, we close in 45 minutes. We can’t fit you in tonight. We will reopen on Monday.” Mr. Dreamy drove on. I call the Fort Worth number. “Sorry, M’am, we close at 4:30. Our shop is full. We will reopen on Monday and might be able to fit you in then.” Mr. Dreamy drove on. I call the Abilene number. This time I preface my call by saying, “I don’t suppose you guys are open on Saturday?” Imagine my surprise when I get a positive response. I am connected to service and talk to Carlton. I explain our situation. Carlton tells me that as long as no other lights are on (on the dash) we should be OK to continue. He also explains that although they are open on Saturday, he doesn’t have a mechanic who can see us, as his shop is full. However... if we want to stop by, he’ll run the diagnostics and tell us whether it is a “NO! or GO”! God Bless Carlton! 

The next morning we pull into Corley-Wetsel Freightliner in Abilene, TX. Carlton hooks his computer up to a plug hanging under the dash. Technology is Amazing!! 


The history of the engine is downloaded to his computer and Carlton is able to tell us what is going on. We had a problem with the EGR valve. The problem is not active, so we should have no problem going on. He clears the codes, and lets us know that we should seek service if the MIL light reappears. He charges us nothing. Zero. Nada! He is amazing! Corley-Wetsel is amazing! 

Mr. Dreamy purchased some items from the parts department and we went on down the road towards our destination. 

PS The light came on... again, as we approached our destination. At least we now have time to make a reservation for service when we are prepared to leave.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do They Remember?

We dreamers often talk about Gypsy and Tucker and wonder just what they are thinking. Oh, how we wish they could talk!

They are both wonderful travelers. They hop up on their beds, which we put on the sofa (the only time they are allowed on the sofa). 


Gypsy usually stays there all day, until we finally park and put the slide out. However, after four long days coming from Alabama, she finally protested and came off her bed during the last hour to complain to us about the conditions she was forced to endure!! She is a little princess, after all!

We finally arrived at the campground in Arizona after 1623 miles on the road. Miles that took longer than expected due to delays for accidents and one stop for diagnostic services. 

Since their eyeballs were beginning to float, the first thing I did was take the dogs down to the little dog park near our rig.


Gypsy walked into the park, stopped and stared at this tree. This is the tree that piqued her curiosity last year because a dove was nesting among the leaves. We were blown away. It is so obvious that she remembers the dog park at this campground. After staring for a few minutes, Gypsy walked off, having lost all interest in the tree. Mama Dove chose not to nest in the tree this year, or at least, not yet.

Well, we now know that the dogs do remember!

Here is a post Gypsy wrote last year about the dove in this tree. 



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Trace the Path

April 25-28, 2011 saw one of the largest, and deadliest tornado outbreaks ever recorded. In all, 358 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in 21 states.

Photo courtesy of Wunderground

I was in awe of the damage that is still visible, almost three years after the date, as we drove along the Natchez Trace, an historic road that runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, TN.

Natchez Trace
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

The National Park Service has left the damaged trees along the 20 mile path of destruction as they provide food and shelter for countless animals. 



The history of the Natchez Trace goes back 10,000 years ago, when ancient peoples followed the traces (hence the name) of migrating bison and other animals, creating a path that was also used for foot travel between villages. The trace avoided many hills and valleys making it less taxing to travel. Later the route was used by farmers, traders and boat men. Driving along the trace takes one back to simpler times with no bill boards and a maximum speed limit of 50 mph. There are a number of pullouts with informational signs for points of interest and access to the original path where it deviates from the road, as well as a museum and craft center. But I wouldn't know much more than that because someone, whose name I won't mention, wouldn't stop along the way! To be honest and fair to him, the pullouts were a bit small for our coach and car and we really did want to get where we were going! 

Things I might have seen had we stopped:

The sunken trail created by countless feet
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


Graves of Confederate soldiers along the trace
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service


Ancient Indian burial mounds
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service








Thursday, February 13, 2014

'First' Does Not Take the Blue Ribbon

Sometimes it isn't so great to be first. This is one of those times. We are the first motorhome having a problem with in-floor heating. The heating works in the zone at the back of the coach, but not in the front. The technicians assigned to work on our coach tried all they could. They called the electrical guys. They tried what they could. The electrical guys called the flooring guys. The flooring guys called the factory installation guys... then we had the supervisors on board. There was a lot of  head scratching, and "hmmm-ing", and shifting of weight  from one foot to another.


It was determined that the sensor in the floor had failed. The sensor is placed under the tiles, in the adhesive. So then the question became, "How can we put a new sensor in the tile floor?"

First, they used a fancy schmancy 'gun' that could see the wires, and they drew their location on the floor. The new sensor needed to come from under the wall on the right, into the area with the wires without cutting any of the wire. 


The "Tile Guy" had the brainstorm that maybe the sensor could be put in the grout line between tiles. This would eliminate the headaches of removing and reinstalling a tile (not to mention the extra hours involved in labor and in waiting for the tile adhesive to set and then the grout to set.)


In short order he used a dremel tool to remove the grout. The sensor was placed in the crack between the tiles and new grout was applied. We were in business!

How exciting to walk through the coach that evening and have a warm floor! It is Heavenly!

We have since learned that the problem with our coach was discussed at the next production meeting and engineers are working at coming up with a better way to place sensors so that they can easily be replaced. On top of that, we realized (hindsight is always 20/20!) that the heat vent for the regular heat is about 4 feet away from where the sensor was placed. The heat effectively warms up the tile, so the sensor does not adequately register the real temperature of the floor. This too has been discussed at subsequent meetings and an engineer has come by to see it for himself. At some point I will get a diverter for the heat register to replace the cracker box I put in front of it! 






Take A Hike

Stepping back in time a bit....  I flew into Denver to pick up my car, visit with my dad and then get a few odds and ends taken care of. Th...