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!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Adventure Continues...

We are adjusting to being back in the lower 48.  We realize that it really is summer.  We don't have to have jacket as part of the dress code for the day, that are still lots of folks on vacation, and we have to have reservations at RV Parks.
And as our adventure continues, Bob, Molly, Rich, and Mary are still hanging in with us.
July 19, 2014
After taking a deep breath from our five days on the road, we are looking for a couple of laid back days, and an RV Park with power.  Someone turned up the heat!
So, we think, Wolf Point, Montana and
Homestead RV Park, formerly the Ranchero RV Park, might be just what we need.

Jigs, the Indian man that owns the park, kept us well entertained.  He met us outside, to confirm we were the ones that had called for reservations... we confirmed!
You, the red one, park this the big one, you go this way.  And, Jigs kept calling Rich part Indian, because he had to circle three times before getting into his spot.
Nice to meet you were great and so was our stay!
July 20, 2014
After a good night's rest, it was time to roll on over
the back roads of Montana and on towards
North Dakota.
Yes, finally, after all these years of traveling, we are adding this state to our map!  It is one of the last few for us to mark off the list.
By noon, we arrived at the
Red Trail Campground in Medora.  This is where we will call
home for a couple of days...nice folks and nice campground...even if we were parked right under the cottonwood tree!
We had a leisure afternoon and evening, sitting outside, visiting, and making plans for our next adventure.
July 21, 2014
Today, will be our last day to spend with friends.  So might as well do it right!  We started it off with
a special breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, and grits.

  And, Mary, made it very special by making one her famous
apple pancakes.  What a treat!
By mid-morning, we loaded up and headed out
for a drive through the south unit of the Roosevelt National Park...a 36 mile loop.
In the mist of
construction...our favorite pass time... we
did find
a big bison, minding his own business and enjoying his mid-morning snack.
And, other than some little
prairie dogs, a few
wild horses, and an occasional
overlook, we were done with the park.
  Oh, there were lots of places to hike, but,
these three vetoed any idea that involved hiking!
The park is truly a unique
wilderness of 70,400 acres of Dakota Badlands.
Theodore Roosevelt arrived here for the first time in 1883.  He immediately fell in love with the land and quickly invested in cattle and soon had two large ranches.
After spending time in North Dakota, he became aware of the damage that was being done to the land and the wildlife.  After he became President, he pursued his interest in conservation.  The results of his efforts...
Five National Parks
51 Federal Bird Reservations
Four National Game Preserves
150 National Forest
By the end of his presidency, he had protected 230,000,000 acres of public land.
Roosevelt .."I have always said, I would have not been president if it had not been for my experience in North Dakota."
One more national park to cross off our list and
one more stamp for the passport book!
After our drive through the park, we headed back to the RV Park, where we waited out an afternoon thunderstorm.
By 5:00, the rain was gone, the air had cooled, and
the six of us were off for our last dinner together.
We drove to the top of the hill that overlooks
and the Little Missouri River and the town of Medora.
The Pitchfork Fondue.
  Dinner was a 120z rib-eye that was loaded on pitchfork and immersed in 350 degree oil for 5 minutes.  The steak was accompanied by lots of
sides on a serve yourself buffet line and included desert and a drink.
After dinner, we treated ourselves
to the Medora
The show is said to be the
best in the West...and we agree!
  It is dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt's time in the Badlands and featured
Miss Emily, Queen of the West.
What a great finale to our two month journey!
July 22, 2014
This morning, we were up and ready to roll by 6:30.  We headed out of Medora with
fog hanging over the hillsides and

Interstate 94.  Thankfully, it didn't take too long for the sun come out from hiding!
Just west of Bismarck, we stopped for last Hardy's stop for Molly.  Here we had hugs and kisses, and a couple of tears as we parted ways.
Bob and Molly...East bound and down!  They are headed home to Virginia by way of safe guys, those little hugs are just down the road!
Rich and Mary...headed home to travels to you...Mary, be sure to let us know when it is time to sign up for Vancouver!
Love you guys...and again, it has been an awesome journey!
As for Mark and I...the adventure continues...
Our the first stop will land us in Minnesota for a few days.  We are looking forward to visiting and catching up with Bob, Kathy, Niles, Sue...Lark Drive Gang...and Retama family!'s a new adventure in the making!