Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In and Out...

August 1, 2014

I think we have set our all time record for service in and out of Red Bay.  After Bruce finished the body work on Wednesday and Thursday last week and the jacks were replaced on Friday, we figured our paperwork would be shuffled back with the others and the wait for the three hour bay would start.  However, late Friday afternoon, we got a call to report to Bay 32 on Monday morning!  Wow, record time indeed!

But, for now, it is Friday, and the question is, how do we spend our weekend  We decided it would be a great time to get a few more things marked off of The To Do List.

So, Saturday morning, we dropped the motor home off at


Ricky Johnson's home.  Ricky works in the Service Center Office and has a part time cleaning business.  Today, he is going to clean ours.  He cleans the inside from top to bottom, front to back, shampoos the carpets, cleans the tile floor, polishes the wood and counters.  He even does the windows!  And, while he is busy with the inside, his helper, John, is going to wash and wax the outside!  Just what we needed to clear away a little more of that Alaska dirt!

We decided since this would be an all day appointment, we would head to the Muscle Sholes area.  We stopped at


Simmons Tires where the Jeep got 4 new tires.

Afterwards, we drove


across the Tennessee River to Florence where we spent the rest of our day shopping, having lunch, and shopping a little longer.  By late afternoon, it was time to head back to Red Bay to pick up the motor home.  Thanks, Ricky and looks great!

We enjoyed a leisure rest of the weekend at Camp Red Bay.

August 4, 2014

When six forty-five, Monday morning arrived, we were sitting in front of Bay 32 where


Greg was waiting to pull us in.  Our list was pretty simple here, just a few adjustments here and there.  However, since we had been operating with no jacks over the last few months, we wanted to make sure that the big slide on the driver's side was not out of adjustment.  We told the techs that it had been a little on the sluggish side.  So, after a brief consultation, we decided that it was time for a new motor.  Wow, it never operated so slick!

We also had one recall they addressed.  It had to do with adding a fuse to the front and rear clearance lights.

And, with that, we were in and out of the service center.

In order to finish our list, we extended our stay at the campground for a couple of days.  So, yesterday, it was back to


Simmons Tires where six new tires were waiting


just for us!

Mike Simmons and his techs were great.  We used the Michelin Program through FMCA.  It worked great, easy sign up, and a fair discount.

While we were getting the new tires, Mark and the tech were discussing the wheels and how they needed to be cleaned.  He told us about a product that we could buy at Tri County Trucks, a local business in Muscle Sholes.  He told Mark it was really easy to use and no buffer needed!

So, you already know, our next stop was Tri County!  The product is


Purple Metal Polish.

Of course, as soon as we returned to the campground,


Mark had to give it a try.

I would say he has found


a new pass time!

  By the way, the label warns that this product could be I am guessing we will have the shiniest wheels on the road!

August 6, 2014

This morning, we were up early, and ready to address the last item on the list.  While, I dealt with the laundry, Mark headed to


Bay Diesel for our 50,000 mile check up.  Even with all sorts of oil changes, filters, lubes, new air dryer, a check of the air ride, and who know what else, we were still in and out by noon.

Wow, this has been a really big and pricey stop in Red Bay.  But, keeping  the motor home up and running in good condition is no more than keeping a sticks and bricks house operating.  Some necessary and some preventative, but, it's all done!

I know we all often fuss about the things that go wrong with them, but, while in Red Bay, we counted our blessings for the things that didn't go wrong.  And, you will too...



motor home in need of much TLC.  And, it made me almost cry because all of this damage was due to a wrecker driver that didn't know what he was doing!

So, remember, to count your blessing when you have to fix the little things or have the next routine maintenance done on your rig!

We are looking forward to the adventures the next 50,000 miles will bring us.  But, after 125 days and almost 12,000 miles, we are heading our motor home West for some much needed family time.

See you soon from Texas!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Tuned In and Level...

August 1, 2014

One of the items on our service list was to check out the roof mounted TV antenna.  Even though, we primarily watch Direct TV, it is nice to be able to switch to the TV and catch the local news and weather wherever we are.   We have been having trouble for awhile getting it to work properly...just wouldn't tune in for some reason!  After finding out they no longer use the one we have, we decided to purchase a new redesigned one. And,


have one of the techs came to our campsite to install it. more 


controller hooked to a wire that never seemed to be accurate enough to dial in a good signal.  The new one is operated by a wireless perfect.

Today, we also got a call to come


to the service bay where they installed our new jacks.

If you remember, a few months ago, while we were in Montana, we had the jack that wouldn't retract and Mark and Wallace took it off.

  And, even though we made it all the way to Alaska and back without the jacks,


it is nice to too know level is just a few hours away.

And, like the newly designed antenna, we learned there is a new jack system.  After having to have several jacks replaced over the last few years, it was a no brainer for us to get the


newest jack system installed.

  Although it uses


the same style and size jacks, it comes with


a new wiring system that communicates with a new control system. 

Now, while I am not too sure what those wires are telling that controller, I do know this...

we now have


four jacks, they are all on the ground, all the slides are out, and we are level!

Another good day...tuned in and level in Red Bay!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Adventures Continue...

July 29, 2014

We left Illinois in the rearview mirror and headed South...on to the next adventure.  We originally planned a stop in St. Louis, but, when we got there, it just didn't appeal to either of us.  I think we were both ready to get to the business at hand, so, we drove on.  And, some 500 miles down the road, we pulled into


Camp Red Bay!

It was early evening when we reached our destination.  However, sixteen rigs had already arrived today, and the service center campground was full.  Art, the campground host told us it could be a couple of days before he had a site for us.  We decided to go to the new Downtown RV Park, located behind the post office.  It is just a paved lot, but has full hook ups and shade trees!  And, since the days are warm, we decided to opt for the full hookups.

After a good, but, long day, it was nice to be parked...even in Red Bay!

July 30, 2014

This morning, we were up early, and ready to make a plan.  We turned in our paperwork at the service center and now starts the wait.  So, while we wait for Norris, the service writer, to come visit, Mark headed to the body shop to consult with


Bruce Deaton regarding what we call


the Whitehorse Boo Boo...aka...the green metal barrel that jumped out and grabbed us!

When the Gorilla Tape Band-Aid came off and after the damage was assessed,


one fender and three compartment doors are being


repaired or replaced.

And, the Teslin Bridge Boo Boo, better known as the flat tire, required


a little TLC to the compartment door on the passenger side.

Bruce assured us he would take care of us, so

while the motor home was in his care, we headed out for


breakfast at Jack's.

  After breakfast, Norris caught up with us at the body shop to go over our service list, which then left us free for the rest of the day.  I headed off to get a haircut, while Mark made a trip to the service center to make arrangements about how we were going to handle the broken jack.

By late afternoon, Bruce had the body work done, the doors primed and back on the coach.  Art called and had


an available site at the service here is home for the next week or so!

July 31, 2014

This morning came very early.  Bruce wanted us back to the paint shop by


6:00 a.m.  The only light of day came from inside the bay!  Once again, we left the coach with them and headed to

DSC_3915 of Mark's favorite places!

On our way back into town, we stopped and shopped at Fred's and The Dollar Store.  By the time we returned to the body shop,


the painting was well under way.  And, by early afternoon,


all the boo boos were just a thing of the past!

  Now, we can start working on the rest of the list.

Tonight, we enjoyed dinner at


Costa Oaxaquena, a new to us Mexican Food Restaurant in Belmont.

Excellent food, a great way to end a day in Red Bay.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Retama Friends...

July 22, 2014...continues

This morning, after parting ways with our Alaska travelers, Mark and I headed towards Minnesota to continue our summer adventure.

  We arrived at the


Dakotah Meadows RV Park, located at Mystic Lake Casino near Savage, Minnesota.

I have to admit, it was really nice to have a concrete pad and green grass at your doorstep.  I did however, keep my eyes open for a moose!

July 23, 2014

After a good night's sleep and with no early morning travel plan, it was time for


a much needed hot bath!

  Although this was not our main reason for stopping was really nice to have this wash bay at the campground to get one more layer of Alaska dirt washed away.

But, our real reason for continuing our adventure through Minnesota was to catch up with Bob and Kathy Barnett, and Niles and Sue Deden, our Retama friends.

  However, when we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to find Laura and Bill Disbow, also Retama friends and neighbors, parked just down the road from us at the campground.  We got to visit with them just briefly, as they were leaving to continue their travels on to North Dakota.  We also, found that Eddie and Mary Catherine Sligh were passing through for an overnight stay on their way to the FMCA Rally in Oregon.  What fun...more friends!

This evening, Bob and Kathy invited us to their

Kathy's House

home in Savage.  We shared a wonderful dinner while enjoying their


beautiful back yard.


Mary Catherine Sligh's photo.

Kathy and Bob, for a great evening.

July 24, 2014


Thursday came, and, it was time for us to move on.  Our travels today took us away from the


busy city life.  We traveled over the


  country roads and through


miles and miles of roads lines with corn fields and soy beans.

Then,  some 50 miles down the road, we reached the beautiful little town of


Red Wing, where Niles and Sue call home.

  Well, actually, they live several miles out of Red Wing on the


farmland that has been called home to the Deden family for several generations.

  And, while this home sets high on the bluff, we parked the motor home at the shed some two miles


in the valley below.

From here we could see


the childhood home of Nile's mom.

We made ourselves at home, and then headed out to see the town.  Back in Red Wing, we made a stop at the


at the home and museum of Red Wings shoes.


This machine is still used today to make the famous 3 stitch that is on all Red Wing shoes.

The guys had a great afternoon of


shoe shopping and even stopped for a photo opt by the world's largest boot...size 638 1/2 D. It is 16 feet tall and 7 feet wide.  It stands on the first floor, but reaches the second floor where the museum is located.

We also took a drive down to the Mississippi River riverfront and the


boat village.  Our drive then took us to the top of the bluff overlooking


town and the bridge that leads to Wisconsin.

July 25, 2014

We were up early this morning, and ready to head out for another day of sightseeing.

Today,our drive took us around


Lake Pepin, which is a very wide place in the Mississippi River.

We also, traveled across to the Wisconsin side of the river.  We drove to the top of the bluff high above the little town of


Alma, Wisconsin.

What  a beautiful view!

From here we also watched as some small boats


entered the lock, as they make their way up river.

Time for lunch...and what a great place...


The Nelson Creamery, Nelson, Wisconsin.  We had deli sandwiches, soup, and of course, who can go to a creamery without having ice cream.

  And, oh, yes, we also


purchased several kinds of cheese!

Another great day in our ongoing summer adventure.

July 26, 2014

Today, we off for a real country adventure in Meisville, Minnesota at the annual


Little Log Cabin Village festival.

Bob and Kathy drove over to meet us for the day.  Also, we had a added treat, Ken Stadt, another Retama friend, meet us for breakfast.

After breakfast, and while the guys were off looking at guy stuff, the girls enjoyed the


beautiful flower gardens.  We also watched the


local blacksmith at work.  And,


Kathy and Sue showed off their strength!

There was the


one room school house,


quilt store, and


old barn.

Soon, it was time to meet the guys for the


antique tractor parade.

What a fun day in rural Minnesota.  And, what an awesome weekend with


Niles and Sue.  Thanks for sharing with us!

July 26, 2014

Once again, it is time for us to move on.  Today, our journey will take us into Illinois, to visit with Bruce and Linda Hall, more Retama friends.

We enjoyed the beautiful


farmlands all the way from Minnesota to Illinois.

We crossed the Mississippi one more time and headed down one more


country road.  This one led us to the outskirts of


the little town of Aledo, Illinois, where we found Bruce and Linda waiting for us.  They escorted us on to our


RV site and home for a couple of days...which is a lot they own just a couple of blocks from their home.

Bummer...something happened to my camera card and my pictures didn't come through.  So, you are just going to have to take my word, that we had a great visit and dinner at their beautiful home in town.

July 28, 2014

Today, we drove to Linda's hometown of Roseville.  We enjoyed lunch and a tour of town.  After, a long scheduled dental appointment for Bruce and Linda, we headed back to Aledo and on to the river.  We had a fun evening at the local casino where we enjoyed dinner and played a few pennies and quarters.  Linda was a real winner!

Tomorrow will be a travel day for us, so, after a fun day and evening, we had to say our good-byes to


Bruce and Linda.  Thanks guys we had a really great time!

We have enjoyed this last week, visiting with friends that have all become like family to us.  We hated for our stays to be short, but, it is time for us turn this motor home South...for yet another summer adventure.

Again, thanks to each of you for sharing your towns, your homes, and your time with us.  See you in the fall on Lark Drive!