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Sat. Sep 29 to Fri. Oct. 6- Sun City AZ to Albuquerque NM

Saturday- We went to the storage unit and dropped off a few items. We picked up the bike rack and returned to the MH to get the bikes. We took them to the Bike Builder for a tuning. Mine is in pretty bad shape, so they need to do some serious work on it.

They thought that they might have Bob’s done by the end on the day, so we kept the bike rack in the back of the Edge. We went to the Peoria Farmers Market. We have not been to this Saturday market before and will definitely be returning. It was awesome!

We went to lunch at In N Out burger and took a short nap. We had  quiet evening at home.

Sunday- Bob’s bike was not ready yesterday, so we returned the rack to the storage unit. We did some errands and watched the Redskin game. Alan and Donna arrived today, so in the evening we met up with them and MaryAnne and Ray at the Vore’s MH.

Monday-  We started our trip east and had an easy drive to Flagstaff. There the winds started and we had to slow down. The winds were mostly from the west, 25 –27 mph and were a tailwind. We stopped in Sun Valley, AZ at Sun Valley RV park ( the park had been sold and was previously Root 66 RV Park where we have been before. It was still a PA park $22 W/E). We settled in and relaxed.

Tuesday- Happy Birthday Bob!! We continued our trip east. We stopped for diesel, then continued on to Enchanted Trails RV Park ( a PA park $23 night FHU 50 amp) where we are meeting up with the Roadrunners. Susan Prichard had texted us, inviting us to go to a brewery for dinner. We all left and went to the brewery, where we overwhelmed the staff. They had just started a food menu, and they ran out of food and let us get food from the pizza place next door and bring it in. Bob and I split a calzone.

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Wednesday- We ran around ABQ doing some errands as we needed some items and picked them up at Walmart.

At 5 we had a social hour where we met up with everyone who was going to the Fiesta. Dale talked about boondocking for those folks who have not done this before. We returned to the MH and ate a light dinner and went to bed.

Thursday- moving day. We were caravanning to the fairgrounds and we were in the second group, at 7:30. I was finished getting the inside of the MH ready when there was a knock on the door. The guy(John) 2 rows over had fallen off his ladder. I called to Bob and ran over. We kept him still on the ground, covered with a blanket. He was on gravel and it was not comfortable. We called 911. Bob used his flashlight to check his eyes and his pupils were normal. He had fallen, gotten up, and fainted, hitting his head.  I sent one of our group out to the entrance to direct them to the site.

Once they arrived, I reported to them. Karen, can drive the MH but she was following him to the hospital. They were in the 1st group to leave, so we got ready and took their turn in line. John and Karen’s MH was staying in its site. Becky took over calling the resort later to check to see how long the MH could stay there. Jim and Becky’s alarm clock did not go off, so they had run late. They ran back to the rv park to take showers and to care for Karen and John’s dog. The MH would have to be moved as the park is full for the Fiesta. John was going to have to stay the night, as he had a broken vertebrae. So they packed up the MH and moved it to the fairgrounds with us. This made it easier to take care of the dog. If something is going to happen, at least they were with friends who would take care of the dog and MH.

We all lined up ready to leave at 7 There were 8 rigs in a row, with tow vehicles in between the motor homes( including 1 Alfa 5th wheel and 2 SOB’s (some other brand, RV’ing terminology! ). ) We left promptly. I had been appalled when Susan had said we were leaving so early and driving through ABQ rush hour traffic, which is notoriously awful! Susan and Dale, the wagon masters, had scoped out a surface route which was great.

I followed Bob who was driving the MH. We did run into traffic the closer we got to the fairgrounds. I lost Bob and was leading the pack at that point, with 4 MH’s behind me. We all were using walkie- talkies and Susan was at the next corner waving to me.

We turned into the park and there was a long line. So us gals went around the RV’s and went to the check-in station. We picked up the placards to place in the MH and car windows. I pulled back in behind Bob and we were led to our site. We are north facing in row 27. Last time we were here in 2011, we were in row 3.

We have 17 total rigs and we are all parked in a nice straight line. We park the Edge behind the MH and the row across from us parks in front of their RV. 

We all settled in and sat around talking.It was raining off an on… We had a happy hour at 4, then went to dinner with Paula and Charlie Gray at Texas Roadhouse. Isn’t this a great picture of all of us!

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Friday- We had an 8 AM meeting so we carpooled (with Paula and Charlie) over to the W lot where we are going to be parking this entire time. We had the intro Navigator Courtesy Shuttle meeting. Then we had the golf cart orientation. From there they took us on a Trolley tour of the park. That was sort of a waste of time, as there were so many people on the Trolley, we were not able to see everything. So then we hopped on a 6 pack golf cart with John ( this was his second year) and he took us on a much better tour of the facility.

He wanted us to test drive, and I was the only one who agreed to do that. He had me drive to the top of route 4, which is a 6% grade hill. I drove the cart up and down the hill. Some people refuse to do this route, but Bob and I both liked it.

We all went to Costco and Chick Filet for lunch. We returned and had a happy hour that was dinner.  

Sat. Sep. 23 to Fri. Sep. 29 Sun City AZ

I am almost 3 weeks behind on the blog so this is going to be a condensed version!

Basically we spent the week preparing to leave for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

We played Pegs and Jokers with Diane and Jim one afternoon and I went to water aerobics every day. It was a pretty quiet week and we were trying to rest up for our trip east.

Since our internet is so messed up, we cannot do much of anything. We are anxiously awaiting the end of this months billing cycle!

Sat. Sep. 16 to Fri. Sep. 22- Westminster CO to Sun City AZ

Saturday- I had my Boot Camp from 8 to 9 and the Work Group from 9 to 10. At a little after 10 we went to the storage unit. During the week, we had taken the shelving units apart and wrapped them with masking tape and bubble wrap. We had also wrapped the two MH doors from in front of the washer/dryer.

We put the shelving units in the Edge and took them to the MH. We put them in the shower, as we thought that might we the best place for them.

We returned to the storage unit. We moved all the boxes to the Edge. We also have the bumper for the Edge, which was removed when we put the tow braking system on the Edge. We made it with a little room left. So we returned to the MH and put the shelving units, both of them in the back of the Edge. Wahoo we made it with everything in the Edge. We even put the folding cooler back in the the car, folded of course!

We then worked on the dining table. We have a container in the back of the car with extra umbrellas, hats, jackets and cloth grocery bags in it. So we cleaned it out, re-organized it, and put it under the dining table. So it can stay there until we get to Sun City. We can pull out the table and still use it, but just not the whole table.

We went to social hour again, and let the dogs run again. We said our good-byes again to our some of our friends. We ate leftovers for dinner.

Sunday- Moving day. We packed up and went to say good-bye to Julie and Noel. Then Jerry came over to look at the magnets for our shades. Then Dave came over to look at the rig and to say good-bye. We went over to say good-bye to Marianna and Fred. I realized I have some Hepa masks in the MH so I gave one to Marianna, hoping that she can use it and be able to tolerate the chemicals and smoke in the air. She has been really miserable this year with the poor air quality causing her to cough a lot. She is going to give it a try and order some if it works…

We hooked up the car and drove out of the park. We took I-70 west to SR 470 south. We eventually joined I-25. Wow, was traffic northbound heavy. It was bumper to bumper. The speed limit was 75 and they were lucky if they were able to drive 20 mph.

We arrived at the Air Force Academy. We had to wait in line at the base entrance. Then went to the Fam Camp entrance. We arrived at about 12:30 and were in line. We had a reservation, so we moved quickly. We pulled in to the nice pull-thru site, $27 FHU 50 amp. A little more than budget, but a lot less expensive than the KOA. There is an Elks Lodge,  but as busy as Westminster has been, we decided to stay at the Fam Camp.

We settled in and I called Marian, and set up meeting them for dinner this evening. We ate a quick lunch and settled in to watch the Redskin game. We lucked out and were able to reach the satellite through the trees.

At 4:30 we left to meet up with Marvin and Marina. We arrived at a nice little brewery and realized that it was way too noisy to be able to sit and talk. When the Grier;s arrived, we left and went to a very nice Italian restaurant.

We were so happy to see them, and their daughter Maureen who accompanied them to dinner. We had met Maureen before.

Marvin had an incident on Sept. 8. He has had heart issues for years, which the Doc’s have not been able to diagnose. Luckily, they had inserted a chip a few weeks ago to be able to see what what occurring.

On that Friday night, Maureen was there having dinner with them. Marvin usually knows when an incident is going to occur. No warning this time! He kept going in and out of consciousness. Finally, he did not come back. They had called 911. The paramedics arrived and he was breathing, but they began ‘pacing’ him to keep a heart rhythm going. They transported him to the closest hospital and he flat-lined. They were able to get the heart going but he was out for a long time. The Doc’s have no idea how he is doing so well without any brain damage!

The Doc’s kept pacing him and on Sunday they put in a 2 line pacemaker. They were able to read the chip and find out that his ventricles were not working. The node in the ventricle which sends the signal to the ventricles to contract was not working correctly.

So we were very happy to see Marvin, who had trouble talking due to a sore throat from the two tubes that they had put in for breathing, but his brain is okay. The Paramedic had visited him in the hospital on Sunday to check on him because they had never had someone who flat-lined for so long do so well!

We had a great dinner and enjoyed a lively conversation!

Monday- We left the Fam Camp at about 8:30 drove out the south entrance of the base. We traveled south to Las Vegas NM. We stopped in Trinidad at the Walmart to eat lunch and decided to unhook the car to go over Raton Pass. There were two trailers with people living in the parking lot! Lots of other RV’s stop in at this Walmart, but two never leave!

We made it across the pass without any problems. We were not sure that with the extra weight in the car with all our belongings that we would make it, so we did the un-hooking and I drove the car. We re-hooked the car up on the south side of the pass in the town of Raton.

We continued south and drove into Storybook Lake State Park in Las Vegas. We were able to drive into a pull thru site with water and 50 amp for $12. It was so nice, we sat outside. It was too windy to eat dinner outside though… We were watching the weather for the winds. This happened that last time we were in this park!

Tuesday- I woke up a 5 and got up to look at the weather forecast. The winds were to be 25 –30 mph by 9 AM with gusts to 50 mph. In ABQ it was to be 12 mph by 11 AM. So I woke Bob us and said lets get going!

We drove out of the park at about 6:20 AM. We drove south and had not issues. We stopped at San Felipe Casino for diesel fuel, as we usually do when driving through the area. We planned to stop at a PA park on the west side of ABQ if the winds picked up, but they were to be relatively mild until about 11- 12. Gallop  was to have 40 mph winds at around 11 AM, so we kept driving west.

We made it to just before Grants when the winds picked up. So we drove in, at 11 AM, to Bar S RV Park where we have stayed before. $24 for FHU 50 amp with our Good Sam card.

We settled in and the wind howled! We went to lunch at the local diner then went to El Malpais National Monument. It was a free NP. We stopped at the Visitor Center,

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stamped our NPS Passbook and watched the movie. Below is the park. The lighter the colors, the older the lava flow.

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Then we had to drive east one exit on I-40 to a different entrance to the park. We drove through the Conservation area to the National Monument area, through the Acoma Indian Reservation.

Our first stop was at the Sandstone Bluffs Overlook. I-40 goes along the northern edge of this NP, and we have seen the lava rocks from the Volcano every time that we drive through this area.  Those are young lava rocks, only 3900 years old!

The bluffs were impressive. The wind continued to howl, so needless to say, we did not get too near the edge of the rocks!

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During the Depression, people came out here and lived on the land. This is the ruins of one of the homes, on the bluffs.

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We continued south on Hwy 117 to the La Ventana National Arch. We walked out to the arch, which was a short flat walk. It is humbling to realize how many people, including Native Americans, have viewed this spot over the centuries!

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The arch was formed from the sandstone over the centuries, from water and wind.

We returned to the car and drove through “the narrows”. The Narrows is the strip of land between the lava flow and the bluffs. Hwy 117 runs straight through the area. We turned around in the Narrows Picnic Area, and found two trailers where people are living in the picnic area.

On the right of the road is the bluffs and on the left was the lava.

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We returned to Grants and our RV park. We walked into the MH and the smoke detector was beeping. It turned out it was broken. The poor dogs! We do not know how long it had been driving them crazy, but we do not think they got their usual afternoon nap!  I did laundry while Bob drove into Grants to the Walmart and bought at new smoke detector. We had dinner at home.

Wednesday- We are still watching the winds and found that we will need to do the same thing today as we did yesterday. We were up at 5 AM and had the motor home ready to roll by 6 AM.

We drove in the dark onto I-40. We continued to travel west. The winds started to pick up before Flagstaff, with winds about 20 mph. We slowed down and continued on our way. What was scary were the 18 wheelers who did not slow down and were weaving on the road from the winds.  We checked the winds to the south and found that in Sedona they were only 12 mph.

As soon as we entered Flagstaff, the trees started to protect us from the winds. We turned south on I-17 and traveled south without any issues. We stopped at the rest area and ate lunch and continued on to Paradise RV Park where we will be spending the winter.

We arrived at about 1:30 and went into the office to sign in. They did not have the bill ready, so they said just come back tomorrow to pay us. The Ranger took us to the site, we backed in and set up.

MaryAnn stopped by on her way back from a meeting. Later, she and Ray came over to visit. After dinner we went over to Mike and Linda’s and visited with them.

We are so happy with our new site! We have a double concrete patio and nice rocks all around the MH. In our previous sites there were little rocks that we kept bringing in on our shoes. I was constantly sweeping. I don’t have to do that anymore! Yippee!

Thursday- We started the day off by taking all the stuff’ in the car to the storage unit. We were so glad to get our car back! The dogs love to sit behind the dining room table and now they are able to again, so they were also happy. We had reloaded all that stuff back into the back of the car, that we had stored there. We had also brought the bikes over to Paradise. We had a busy day running around doing other tasks, including going to the Library to donate books that have accumulated. We had dinner at home and watched TV in the evening.

Friday-  Wahoo, my first day back at Water Aerobics! I have really missed my daily class! I could really feel that I had a lot of stretching to do! After class, I always go into the hot tub and stretch all my muscles out in the nice hot water. Oh, did it feel good!

Bob did some stuff around the motor home. Then we took some more items over to the storage unit, including returning the bike rack to the unit. We were cleaning out stuff that we do not use frequently but want to keep. This way we do not have to cart it with us all the time. With having the storage unit so close, we can keep items there instead of in the motor home.

The long term plan is to put a storage unit on the site at Paradise, but we simply cannot afford to do that right now. We had dinner at home and watched TV.

Sat. Sep. 9 to Fri. Sep 15- Westminster CO

Saturday- My birthday. We started out having breakfast at IHOP, as I had a free breakfast for my birthday. Then we went to the storage unit to start the cleaning it out. We packed up some items to take to the ARC as donations. Most of the Christmas stuff, except for a couple of items of sentimental value. We returned to the storage unit and I looked around that said to Bob, where are the photos that I had worked on last spring. The plan is to send them off via FedEx to  a company to have them moved to digital. We searched through the storage unit. We were getting panicky, as we could not find them! So we ran back to the ARC to make sure that we had not donated them, although we were pretty sure that we had not. They were not there! So we stopped for lunch, grabbing a free sub at Jersey Mikes, as I had a coupon for a free sub. We went back to the storage unit to go through it again. The pictures were not there! Both of us were just sick about this and could not believe that we might have donated them in May, and they were long gone!

As the only child of an only child on my mothers side, I have all the pictures of my grandparents and my great-grandparents. Bob might have been able to get copies of his pictures. Plus these were a lot of old family pictures that it would have been impossible to replace. This made for a very unhappy birthday!

We attended the social hour at 4, and went to dinner at Denny’s for another free birthday meal. 

Sunday- We did some laundry, budgeting, and went back over to the storage unit to keep condensing boxes. We went to social hour at the pavilion at 4.

Monday- I had a Chiropractor appt. at 9:45, so we went to Arvada to my appt.Then we went to Costco for gas and groceries. We ran back to the ARC and I spoke with the manager to ask if they had the pictures from the spring. No they did not.

We returned to the MH and did some stuff at home. We went to social hour at the Lodge. We had dinner at home.

Tuesday- We went to Bob’s Cardiologist appt. at 8AM. He had a good report. He has not had any episodes of the Afib. The cardiologist said that he wanted to place a monitor on Bob in December and we explained that we will be in Sun City. So he has written his plan, and is going to forward it to the new cardiologist in AZ.

We returned to the storage unit. I opened a box, and inside was a Direct TV box. I asked Bob why we were keeping a DVR box. It was heavy and when we opened it, the pictures were inside. Wahoo! We were dancing in the storage unit! Neither of us remembered moving them to this box! We both felt a lot better!

We took more items to ARC for donations. I had a dental appt. at 12:00, so we ate an early lunch, then I ran to my appointment. When I returned, I went straight to the Lodge to play Ponytail Canasta with the girls. We had a great time.

We went to social hour at 4 PM, then to Old Europe, our favorite German Restaurant in the area. We had a great dinner.

Wednesday- Back to the storage unit to do some more work. I dropped Bob back at the MH, and went shopping at Kohl’s. I stopped for a mani on the way back. We went to social hour at the Lodge, then we went to the dinner. This was a new thing they were trying. Fried chicken (leg, thigh, breast) green beans and mash potatoes with gravy and a glass of wine for $9. It was okay. Neither of us is big on fried food. We brought a lot of chicken back to the MH for leftovers.

Thursday- We stopped at Walgreens and had our flu shots. We went to Kohl’s for some shorts for Bob. I had seen some the other day. What a mess. From when I was there yesterday, they had moved the shorts to the clearance rack. The racks were marked with sizes, but the clothing was put on the racks in any order. We had to go through every single piece of clothing to find some shorts in his size. We managed to find 3 pairs.

We returned to the MH and took a short nap. We went to social hour, then to the Lodge for Taco night. $1 taco’s. After social hour, we returned the dogs to the MH and fed them, so we were a little late going to the Lodge. As we were walking down, there were 2 young Hispanic guys walking in the RV area. We stood and watched them. They noticed that we were watching, so they climbed the steps and kept walking. As they were heading  back to the gate, we saw Julie in her golf cart and flagged her down, pointing them out. She took off , with Noel, her husband in the car behind her, and she told them they were trespassing. They declared there was no sign, and she showed them the sign!

Earlier in the week, some guy kept cruising through the park in a black Subaru hatchback. So everyone is being vigilant on watching out for each other.

We had a nice Taco dinner with about 20 of us at the Lodge.

Friday- Back to Costco for gas, then to the Chiropractor.  Then back to the storage unit. We had some more items to donate, and we were able to condense two more boxes. We think we are ready to fit everything into the car for the transfer to Sun City!

We stopped at the ARC again, and picked up lunch for Bob at Dickey’s BBQ. We returned to the MH and I walked down to the Lodge for lunch and to play Ponytail Canasta with the girls. Jan and I partnered again, and won again! We had a really nice time playing.

I returned to the MH and we went to social hour. I asked Julie if it was okay to let the dogs run. She said yes. They had a great time! They ran around in circles around the big pine tree, doing laps. Someone came with an older golden retriever. Karlie dashed past the retriever, who kid of looked at Karlie and then decided running was a good idea, so now we had three dogs doing laps.

They were finally done, and came and jumped up on our laps to sit through the rest of social hour. They went back to the MH, ate dinner and took naps. Very happy pups!

The dogs are so funny! At 4, they know it is social hour and they start talking to us about going. They love to go, as they wander person to person getting petted!

We had leftovers for dinner. We have been watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.

Sat. Sept. 2 Dickinson ND to Fri. Sept. 8 Westminster CO

Saturday- We went to the grocery store, Walmart, and the Farmers Market. We went to several other local stores looking for long underwear to wear at the ABQ Balloon Fiesta in early October, which we did not find.

We had a quiet afternoon at home. The wind was still blowing and the smoke was still covering the area so it was hunker down time!

Sunday- We had another quiet day, doing laundry and other tasks around the motor home. We took a short nap and stayed inside due to the wind and smoke.

Monday- Labor Day- We left very early, by 7 AM. We wanted to get ahead of the winds. We traveled south on Hwy. 28 to Rapid City SD. We stopped at the Flying J and then back tracked to Three Flags RV Park, where we have stayed before. The gal was not there, but she called me back and told us to just take site 30 and settle in. She would catch up with us later.

Right after we arrived, the winds picked up! We were lucky to get settled in. We went to dinner at Texas Road House. When we got back, I went over and paid Vicky, the owner. We were getting a PA discount, so the cost was $23 per night. We had decided to stay 2 nights.

Tuesday- We ran around Rapid City, going to Walmart and Panera for lunch. We stopped at Sears, still trying to find some long underwear. At Walmart, I found some leggings. Nothing for Bob. He finally decided to just order some online and have them sent to the Elks Lodge.

We had a quiet afternoon, and took a nice short nap.

Wednesday- Moving day again.  We left Rapid City and traveled south to Hwy 89. We tuned right and went to Ft. Laramie,WY for the night. We had a $15 FHU site thru PA.

Since we arrived before 2 pm, we decided to go visit Ft. Laramie. There is nothing to the town, literally, they do not even have a gas station. We drove thru to Ft Laramie.

What an interesting place! It was  built in 1834 at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers. It was originally named Ft. William., then Ft. John. Indian tribes traded buffalo robes for manufactured goods there. In 1841 the first of the westward bound immigrants arrived. Over the next two decades thousands of people passed through the fort on the trails to Oregon, California, and Salt Lake City. It was on the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the Pony Express. It was also one of the first places with the telegraph. Fort Laramie hosted several treaty negotiation with Northern Plains Indian Nations.

We parked and went to the Visitor Center and watched the movie.

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The above saddles looked pretty uncomfortable. They were made for the comfort of the horses, and not for the rider. They were all made at the fort.

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Above is the soldiers dining area. Below is the sleeping area.

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Below is the building where they lived, ate and slept.

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When the fort was closed the towns people stripped the place of most everything. It was the recycling of the 1800’s. So the NPS had to rebuild the entire place.

We returned to the MH and had a quiet evening. The weather was fair, with light winds, but cool. There was a book exchange at this park, so we went over and dropped off a bag of books.

Thursday-  We continued our journey south to Westminster CO. Wow, on I-25 we could not see the mountains, or even the foothills,  due to the smoke from the Colorado and Utah forest fires. The air is horrible! The air in the Denver area is never great, as there is usually a cloud of brown area over the basin, but this is so much worse!

We arrived at the Elks Lodge and parked in the 50 amp site on the wall. There was only 1 open site on the hill, and it was under the trees in the 30 amp area. So we will be staying for 3 nights on the wall, until people start leaving on Sunday.

We settled in and Julie the camp host arrived a couple of hours later. We had a quiet evening.

Friday- The air is still putrid! Friend Marianna cannot even go out of her motor home. She has developed a Adult Reactive Disease, where she reacts to chemicals.She does not have asthma or other lung disease. The smoke is making her miserable. Her voice is horse, and if she breaths any of the outside air, she coughs.

I joined the gals at the Lodge at 11:30 to play Ponytail Canasta. We had a nice lunch then played cards. I returned to the MH at about 3:30, and we had social hour outside in the pavilion.

We did not like the dinner selection at the Lodge, so we went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We had been there before, and were not impressed, but thought we would give them another try as there is always a crowd there. The food was good, but we had a problem with the service. After 5 minutes, Bob started a timer. At 12 minutes, with the timer going on the table, a waitress noted that we had not been served. So she took over the table and took our order, putting a rush on it. We had our food very rapidly there. She was very apologetic, and we gave her a good time. We never did see the waiter that was assigned to our table.

Sat. Aug. 26 Barnesville MN to Fri. Sept. 1 Dickinson SD

Saturday- I had my Boot Camp starting this morning, so we left at 10 and drove the 22 miles to Fargo. Our first stop was at the Visitor Center. Outside there was this painted buffalo.

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The folks at the visitor center gave us a map of where others are located, but added that some of them are not there anymore, but they were not sure which ones. So we did not bother looking for them. We did see one other one, near our next destination.

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Outside, they also had a Celebrity Walk where celebrities had put their hand and footprints in cement, along with their signatures. There we a lot of familiar names.

Here is Toby Keith

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Alan Jackson

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It wasn’t all country stars. Here is Chuck Yeager.

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Inside, they had “The Wood Chipper” from the movie Fargo. The movie was not filmed in the area, but this is one of the original props. The Wood Chipper scene was actually filmed in Square Lake MN.

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We talked to the employees and received a map of the city and were told about the Farmers Market and the Island Park Craft Show.

We left and drove to the Farmers Market.

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We did not buy anything. We stopped at a sandwich shop and bought lunch. Then we went to the Island Park Arts and Craft Show. We easily found parking and walked thru the show. There was not much of interest to us, so we continued our tour of Fargo.

Out next stop was at the Hopperstad Stave Church. We had seen a Stave Church on our Alaska trip in 2013. It was not open, but we walked around the outside. It was built in 1995.

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We left and went to Costco for gas at $2.04/gal. We returned to Barnesville and the MH. We ate dinner and went to watch the town parade. We found out that the route did not go directly in front of the MH, but on the street behind. So we took our chairs over and sat down.

First, the police came by, with the presentation of the colors. Everyone stood and put their hands over their hearts as the Star Spangle Banner was playing.

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They walked along throwing candy to the kids. There was a little boy, about 5, next to us who really raked in the candy! He probably did better this night than at Halloween!

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Here were the Tator Tots from last night.

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There were lots of big pieces of equipment. At this point. my phone went black. It was fully charged, so we did not know what what wrong with it. So I missed taking pictures of the rest of the parade. The one float I would have liked to have photographed was a Large Shopping Cart, which had kids and big boxes of cereal in it! It was really unique!

They advertised that there were 150 participants and we agree, there were probably that many! These were not the biggest pieces of farm equipment that we saw. Plus of course there were the politicians who went by…plus the bands and the Shriners. The Shriners were a hoot! They were not in the little cars, they were on powered tricycles. They spun around. and raced up and down the street.  There were also motorcycle groups, one new motorcycles and really old ones. It was fun to watch.

After the parade, we went back to the MH and settled in for the evening. Bob was able to take apart my phone and do a soft reset, which seems to have worked!

Sunday- Moving day. We left at 8:45 driving thru fog, traveling west on I-94. The fog quickly dissipated and we had a pleasant drive to Bismarck. We took the by-pass and traveled to General Sibley County Park. We have a 4 night reservation with 50 amp. no water or sewer for $22.We added water to the fresh water tank, then got in line at the dump station. Check out was 2 pm and many people waited until 2 pm to leave. So there was a long line. When we finished dumping, we settled into site 30, and have both satellite and local TV stations. This is the first place we have been for awhile where we are close enough to the city to get the local stations. We like having them for a better weather report than we get on the Weather Channel.

We did nothing this evening except eat diner, sit outside reading and watch TV.

Monday- Bob took the towels, sheets and our underwear/socks to a laundromat to wash, while I updated and posted the blog. We were running out of undies!

I could not get into the CVS/Caremark website to change my mailing address and to order my medications. So I ended up calling them. I got a great gal on the phone. She assisted me with making the address change, although she had a hard time doing it. I had so many addressed in the system, that she had to go to another site to delete them. Then she had to add in the current address where I want the meds sent in addition to the new site in Paradise RV Park. She was very interested in our lifestyle and while we were chatting Bob arrived home. So I put him on the line to make the same changes to the addresses and to get his medications ordered and sent to the Elks Lodge in Westminster.

Then we went into town to lunch at the Cottage Café. It was an excellent place, and we highly recommend. Inexpensive and very good!

We stopped at Penny’s and I went in. Bob stayed in the car. The did not have what I wanted, so we went home. Although I tried on a really nice pair of Liz Clayborn pants which looked really good! 40% off, or at least that was what the sign said. They were 40% off IF you buy $40 worth of purses or jewelry, that was in the fine print! They went back on the rack. JC Penny’s wonders why they are going out of business??? I can get the same thing at Kohl’s and they will be a lot less expensive…. and no tricky signs…

Bob had seen that we were leaking water from the Hydro Hot again. Fortunately, he had taken the class and in certified, so he found the lose fitting and tightened it. He is going to replace that fitting as it loosens too frequently.

I went and had a mani/pedi at a very nice salon. Then returned and we BBQ’s chicken for dinner. We sat outside to enjoy the awesome weather. It is in the 80’s and sunny! Wahoo, much better than the rainy 60’s.

Tuesday- I had my Boot Camp Work Group this morning, so we stayed in until 10 AM. Then we left and went to the Old Governor’s House. This house was originally built for a liquor baron. When SD entered the Union, they entered as a dry state, so he lost his business. He donated the house to the state for a Governor’s Mansion and he moved out of state.

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The ice box in the kitchen.

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Below is the fireplace.

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Below is a double radiator. Since it gets to 45 below in winter here, that is not surprising!

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There was a Bay Window and piano.

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The stair care was beautiful, but I noticed that the banister was lower than usual.

Upstairs had several bedrooms.  Notice the ‘humidifier’ on the radiator.

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We also toured the garage/carriage house.

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We went up to the Capitol building and we stopped and looked at the Sakakawea Statue.

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Then we went to the ND History Museum. We just visited the replicas of the battleship and submarines that we named North Dakota.

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We left the museum and went to the Capitol building for the free tour. We walked in thru security. Then we wandered looking at the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Riders Award North Dakota Hall of Fame,  while waiting for the 1 PM tour.

There were several familiar names. Here is Louis L’Amour

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Eric Sevareid..

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Peggy Lee.  Below is Lawrence Welk.

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We took the elevator up one floor to the House and Senate. Even though this was a sky scraper, built in the 1930’s to replace the original building which burned down in 1930. It is art deco, due to the time period.

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Below is the House.  Their legislature meets every two years.!

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Below is the Senate.

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This is the hallway between the Legislature and the Supreme Court.

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Below is the elevator door. Pretty fancy!

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At the entrance to the Secretary of State ofice, they have an entrance room which is called the “Eye Room”. It is made with an extinct wood from California. It looks like a face in the wood….They think that it is the only room in the world built from this wood.

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We continued on to the Supreme Court. North Dakota is unique. There is no Court of Appeals,  all appeals go directly to the Supreme Court and any citizen is able to appeal to the court.

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We went up in the fancy elevator to the 18th floor to look out on the city. They had pictures of the courthouse which burned.

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North Dakota holds the Guinness World Record for the most people doing snow angels at the same time in front of the Capitol building.

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They had these wicker chairs all over the top floor. They were made in the mental institution 70 years ago. They are so well made that you can sit on them. All of them were different.

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Well, now you have seen Bismarck! That was about it…

Wednesday- We drove west to Ft.Abraham  Lincoln Infantry Post .

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We entered the park and went directly to the General George Armstrong Custer house. We arrived just before the start of the tour. We had a private tour, as no one else was there!

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Below is the living room.

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The bathroom.

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The kitchen and our docent, Benjamin.

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The household staff bedroom.

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The trunk room.

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The game room on the second floor.

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Custer’s Man Cave.

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His bedroom.

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His mother, wife and father .

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Infantry quarters.

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Then we went up to the top of the hill and climbed into the Blockhouse. This was the view.

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20170830_115025 We left and went to the second tour starting at the Visitor Center. The building was built by the CCC. There was a small museum inside.

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Our tour was of the On-A-Slant village. There were 1500 Native Americans who lived in this village. The location was good, as they had the river for water and protection.

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This was our docent for this tour. You can see the homes in the distance.

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Behind the docent was a wind block wall. About 15 people lived in each one of these homes. The women actually built the homes. Look at the size of those logs!

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This was a bed, up off the floor. The winter temp can reach 45 below! These were some ingenious, hardy people!

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Bob is holding a toy.

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This was given to the boys to work on their dexterity. Being able to get the round piece onto the stick is a challenge, we tried! But the boys would learn to do it and it helped with throwing spears at animals to kill them for food.

We moved to the ceremonial building. It was quite large, and it was where they held ceremonies and greeted visitors.

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Above is one of the homes. The comparison is interesting, as how much difference there is in size. Plus it was built by the women. These structures would last only about 20 years due to the poor wood, Cottonwood, they had in the area to use for construction.

We left this area and drove through the campground. It was pretty empty, but then it did not have many amenities The park had four different types of historical significance. First the Native Americans, then Lewis and Clark came through, then Custer, and finally the CCC rebuilding the park. 

We drove back to the MH and had a quiet afternoon.

Thursday- Moving day! We drove west of I-94 to Dickinson ND. We arrived, just before the winds picked up. This year has been really windy traveling! We were lucky, as we pulled in right ahead of the crowd. There were many RV’s behind us, all trying to get off the road.

We settled in and worked on some laundry. We ate left overs for dinner and had a quiet evening.

Friday- We left and drove west about 30 miles to Medora ND. Medora is at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We stopped on the way at the Painted Canyon Visitor Center.

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Painted Canyon TRNP ND

Painted Canyone TRNP ND

Painted Canyone TRNP ND

Painted Canyone TRNP ND

Notice the sky looks cloudy? It is smoke from the forest fires in Montana. It was a sunny day and would have been really nice if not for the smoke.

We toured the town of Medora, which took about 2 minutes. We entered the park, free with our geezer pass, and went to the Visitor Center. We arrived just in time for the tour of Teddy’s Maltese Cross Cabin. So we went straight through the building to the cabin.

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Teddy was out here at his ranch when he received notice that his wife had a baby girl (Alice) so he raced back to New York. He arrived just in time for his wife to die of a previously undiagnosed kidney disease. Later, the same day, at the same house, his mother died of Cholera. So he returned to the cabin and grieved for a year. He also had a ranch north of here, but the building is no longer there. This cabin traveled across country to fairs before being returned to this location.

Here is the kitchen, which is located on the left rear.

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Next is the living area, which was the length of the cabin on the right.

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Teddy’s bedroom.

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There was a second floor ( which we did not see) that housed the ranch hands.

Outside on the right corner, Teddy shot into the wood to design this Maltese Cross.

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There is still one of the bullets left in the upper left, that you can see. Notice on the door,

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there is a lot of graffiti. People left their mark on the cabin while it was traveling. The building itself is built of railroad ties. There is no good wood in this area of ND, so they used to steal the railroad ties to build cabins… Teddy did this!

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We returned to the Visitor Center and viewed the very good film. We were told that the drive through the park, 36 miles, would take at least 2 hours ( it took us 3) so we returned to Medora and went into a deli and bought “make it yourself” subs for lunch.

We reentered the park and started our tour. Below is some of the scenery. Note the road going through the picture, that is I-94. We crossed a bridge over the interstate to continue our driving tour.

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Our first stop was at Prairie Dog Town. There were a number of them in the park.

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We  drove a little farther to Skyline Vista. It was an easy 0.3 mile walk each way to the overlook. This time, we are looking at I-94 from the other side of the valley.

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Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

In this picture is the bridge that we crossed.

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Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Some people tour in their motor homes. We don’t, we park and use the car, saving diesel!

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Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

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Teddy Roosevelt NP NC

Teddy Roosevelt NP NC

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The drive is a loop, so we continued on and the road turned to the north. Our next stop was at the Cottonwood area. Cottonwood is the only trees that grow in this area and they are very a very poor building material. There was a picnic area at this stop, so we parked and walked into the trees to a very nice picnic table. There was also a nice vault toilet in this area.

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We ate our subs, then drove into the campground. We asked the camp  host if it was okay to drive through and he said yes. It was a very nice place, but we would only fit on one side of the park. The cost would be $7 with the geezer pass, per night, with no hook ups.

We drove back to Scenic Loop Drive and continued our tour. The loop split and we took the loop to the right. Our next stop was the Scoria Point Overlook.

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Eagle Eye Bob, noted across the road this petrified piece of wood in the rock!

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The park does not tell you about the coal in the rock or the petrified wood. There is a Petrified Forest  with a 3 miles round trip walk in the park. We did not take that walk, as we could see quite a few pieces of petrified wood if we looked for it.

Here is some more.

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Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

We were driving along and saw a car coming the other way stopped. We know what that means, stop and look, because there is something there.

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It does not show up in the picture, but I think this is the larges bison we have ever seen!

We saw these wild horses. Aren’t they beautiful!

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And then we saw this herd  of bison,just relaxing.

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP NDThe next stop was at Buck Hill. The trail was described as the highest accessible place in the park. The walk was 0.2 miles, straight up a short steep trail. In the distance I could see this lone bison. 

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

We drove back down Buck Hill to the loop road and continued on our way. We stopped at Wind Canyon over look. There were several people there and they pointed out in the distance a herd of wild horses. Both on the top of the mountain and the bottom.

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

We passed by Peaceful Valley Ranch, which you can visit. Right after that we passed by the junction, having completed the loop.

We continued traveling back to the entrance. On the way, we passed several more prairie dog towns, bison, the little Missouri River and wild horses.

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

Teddy Roosevelt NP ND

We returned to town then we rode back to the interstate and the 30 miles back to Dickinson. 

Friday- We had a quiet day at home. We went to dinner at the Elks Lodge, where the prices were ridiculous. We paid $34 for two salads! Dickinson is an oil town, with a lot of people in the area working on the oil rigs.

Sat. Aug Faribault MN to Fri. Aug. 25 Barnesville MN

Saturday- We woke up to the park being as bad as we thought it was. We were under trees and it was dark and very wet. Lots of mud! After yesterday we were worried about getting out of the site tomorrow. We had no options as we do not have a working generator, so we can’t go anywhere else. Plus it did not make sense to move while the ground was still so wet.

We went into town and went to the Faribault COOP tire store. We talked with the guys and they could get the tires. So they told us to return on Monday morning.

We went to the nice little Farmers Market and wandered around, but did not purchase anything. We went to a lumber yard to pick up some new boards for the ramps Bob has made for us to use to level the MH. The ones we had, Bob had used to try to get us out of the mud at the fairgrounds, and the boards had broken.

The Penny’s was closing so they were having a 50-70% off sale. We went in and I bought two tops and Bob bought a new rain jacket as he had torn his old one. We went to lunch and to the Walmart.

We returned and Bob worked on sawing the boards and getting new ramps made. We had a quiet afternoon and evening at home.

Sunday- Check out was at 12, so we stayed until 11:45. We did not want to arrive at the next RV park before their weekend folks had left.

We only traveled 6 miles west to Maiden Rock West RV Park. It is just past the LaChance RV Repair where we are hoping to have the generator repaired on Monday.

We drove into the park and walked over to the office. This is not a great place! The road had pot holes filled with water. The office was really tacky and the staff were ‘hicks’. While we were checking in Bob asked about his medications which he had sent to the park. A younger guy sitting in a chair behind the lady checking us in, covered his face with his hands and slunk out of the room. We thought that was odd.

The gal said the package had not arrived. Bob stepped outside while I was completing the paperwork and looked up the package tracking on his phone. He came back in and showed the gal that the package had arrived. She said she would look for it.

We moved into a 50 amp FHU site for $54/night with taxes. We could have moved to a 30 amp site, but it was 88 degrees and they charged $6 per day for electric if you used your air conditioner. It would have cost $1 less per day. Whoopee, what a savings that would have been!(sic)

The site was in a field, with a little bit of gravel in the grass. We hoped we would be able to get out of the site if it rained!

About a half hour later the gal came over to the MH with Bob’s pills. She was very apologetic. The guy we had seen slinking out of the room had gotten the package. He had opened the box, torn the medication information off the bottles, AND OPENED ONE OF THE BOTTLES!

The idiot had then put the bottles into the golf cart, never telling the gal about them arriving, and they had been rained on! We could still see Bob’s name on the bottle. Bob counted the pills and they were all there! We were livid!

When we were at McMillers they had accidently opened one of our boxes. They had immediately closed the box and brought it to us with an apology. Then never opened anything inside the box! We were fine with that! But to open the pill bottles!Unacceptable! All we can think is that he was checking to see if he could sell the drugs! Nope, it was Bob’s blood pressure medication….

We settled in and I did laundry. We had a quiet evening at home, although it rained all night!

Monday- Since the radiator had not arrived on Friday, and we did not get a call on Sat. saying it had arrived, we drove over to the repair facility in the car when they opened at 8. Nope, it had not arrived. They thought it might arrive later today and they would have us come in after lunch if it arrived.

So we continued back to Faribault to the COOP and again discussed tires. They ordered them for us and said they could put them in on Friday. We asked if they could get them sooner and they made us an appointment for Wed. at 1 PM.

We stopped at a laundromat to wash the duvet and the towels. We ate lunch and returned to the MH. In the afternoon Bob called LaChance and they said that the radiator had not come in. They made an appointment with us for Wed. morning at 8 AM.

So we settled in for the rest of the day.

Tuesday-  I started some laundry and worked on the blog. I had the Roadrunner newsletter finished and the club president was reviewing it. He was out in the boonies and had no internet, so I was waiting for him to get it back to me.

At a little after 9, we walked over to the office to tell them that we had to stay another night and to pay them. There was no one there. We returned to the MH and Bob called the gal. She was not there but told us to come over when we saw her car there.

At 10:45 Bob’s phone rang. The radiator had arrived. Could we be there at LaChance at 12:30? YUP! So we ran around getting ready. Bob called the office and the crazy guy answered the phone. He did not know who we were and did not understand what Bob was telling him. Obviously he has issues! So we got ready to leave. At 11:50 as we were pulling out of the park, the lady’s car was there so I went into the office to let them know we were leaving.  There was no one there, although the door was unlocked,. So we said the heck with them and left.

We arrived at La Chance and they pulled us into one of the bays and started to repair the radiator. Fortunately, it was okay with them if we stayed in the MH. They hooked us up to 30 amp and we settled in for the afternoon.

It took 7 hours to put in the radiator. At least the service rate was $95 per hour. Most places it is $125-150. When the guy removed the generator, he also found that we needed new belts. One of them was really bad. So they had to hunt around the area to get the belts and then they had to run and get them. They were in two different locations. So it took awhile.

At 5 the gal from the office came to us to ask for a credit card. The two gals in the office were leaving for the day and it was going to be several more hours. So we gave her the number and ran to Faribault for dinner. It is hard to cook, inside the building, with the slide in!

Faribault has one claim to fame. They had the very first Tilt-a-Whirl. Here is the town mural about it.

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We returned and the dogs seemed to have tolerated being left there. They were both asleep.  The guy was busy working on re-installing the generator. He finished around 7 PM. He backed us out of the bay and sent us on our way. The gal was to call us in the morning with the total. It was a good thing we were able to get this done today, since it took so long!

We drove to Faribault to the Walmart’s, parked and boon-docked in their parking lot. I had asked for permission the other day. We went to bed.

Wednesday- Bob left around 9 to return to LaChance. He got the receipt and they ran the credit card through. I sent out the Roadrunner newsletter. We did a little shopping at Walmart, and waited until 11. Bob called and the tires were not in yet. We were still to arrive at 1.

At 12:40, we left the Walmart with me following in the car. Bob drove the MH into the parking lot. They had him drive it into the bay and they started removing our tires, as the new ones had not arrived.

I sat in the car, in the shade, with the dogs. I watched the tires arrive at about 1:15. They stated putting them on. Bob joined us and we decided to check on a different way out of town so that we did not have to drive through downtown again. We found an alternate route, returned and sat reading our books. They finished at about 4:15. I went in and paid. They did give us some money on the other tires that still had thread on them. They will re-sell them to some trucker for his trailer.

The new tires are UniRoyal. They are made by Michelin, in the USA. They were less expensive, but the same rating as Goodyear or Michelin. Goodyear now owns Michelin and UniRoyal. The tires have the same 7 year warranty on them.

We left and drove to a park on Hwy. 60 that we had been passing every time that we ran to Faribault. There is a beautiful lake there, which is why the RV parks can get the expensive nightly fees!

We hooked up the car and drove about 50 miles to a PA park, Shady Oaks. It turned out to be another Fair Grounds. The gal was really nice about us arriving late. I had called to warn her we would be late and I called her again when we were about 3 miles out. She met us at the office and said we could pick from sites 29-30-31. 31 was a 50 amp site. $10.69 with tax. Water and electric.

Just as we made the turn to the campground, the tire monitor had gone off on the Edge. We stopped and Bob checked the tires. They were all okay. So we continued into the park.

We drove to site 31 and there was a guy there in a pop-up. It was two sided but he really fussed about us moving into the other half of the site. He was saving all of the sites.We told him we were told to take one of the these sites. They are all double sites.

So we moved into site 30. He had two others arriving this evening and one tomorrow. We told him we would be gone in the morning.

We settled in and cooked dinner. It was almost 7 pm by this time. Bob took off all the tire sensors and found one that needs its battery  to be replaced as it had leaked.  We will not put it back on in the morning.  We went to bed early and slept really well, as we were so tired!

Thursday- We stopped and dumped before we left. We have an almost full tank of water. We drove out of the park and traveled west on back roads, through pretty Minnesota farm fields. We turned on to a more major road and in a few miles ran into a detour. We took the detour and followed the GPS. We ended up having to detour another time. There is a  lot of road construction going on!

We stopped in a truck top and ate lunch. We continued through more small towns. One of them was advertising their festival. We saw a sign saying “Turkey Testical Festival”.  We both had a nice laugh over that!

We finally reached I-94 and turned west. Our destination was a Lions Club RV Park in Barnesville MN, about 22 miles east of Fargo. The park, Wagner Memorial Park Campground, does not accept reservations, so we had our fingers crossed. There are not a lot of RV parks in the Fargo area and they are very expensive.

We drove into the park and could see a lot of empty spots. I jumped out of the MH and grabbed one of the envelopes, as it is a self check in park. We started driving around the park and each of the empty sites had a reserved sign on it.

We stopped and realize we have a problem! So I call the town hall, which is the number on the envelope. The gal says, yes, this is the only weekend of the year that they take reservations! It is the Potato Festival! ( None of this was on their website!)

She tells me to hold on, she is going to get Robbie on the phone. Robbie (another gal), says that she can put us into the Fair Grounds as they just had a cancellation. She will meet us there. She gave me directions.

So we drove over to the fairgrounds and she shows us where to park, in a 50 amp site. No water or sewer, $22 each night. She also give us a brochure on the Potato Festival, along with an envelope to put a check in. We could drop it off at the Town Hall or just mail it in… trusting aren’t they!

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We set up then went to Town Hall and gave them the $66 check for 3 nights.  We decided that we would go out to dinner. Of course, we found  there Bratwurst and Beer Restaurant in Fargo, and had to go there! Since we need to get the battery, we drove to Fargo. We stopped at a battery store and bought the battery we needed, then went to dinner.

Bob had a flight of beer. He absolutely loved the Leftbridge Cherry Lager. We had German for dinner. Bob had his pick of about 20 different brats. I had the Jaeger Schnitzel, which I was not impressed with. He even ordered a glass of the Cherry Lager, which is more than he usually drinks!.

I poured Bob back into the car and we attempted to return to Barnesville. We were stopped at a train track in downtown. There were trains going both ways. We sat, finally the westbound train was gone. The eastbound train kept going and going…. We don’t know how many cars there were, but there had to be well over 100. It was over 20 minutes!

We finally were able to move and traveled back east on I-94 to Barnesville. We settled in for the evening, with the windows and door open. People kept coming to the door, for some reason thinking we were the camp hosts! There are no camp host and we could not tell them where to park! This was Thursday, tomorrow is going to be even more busy. The folks did not have reservations….

Friday-  Bob called Michelin to make sure he had the right tire inflation chart. He then went out and filled the tires to the correct inflation. He also replaced the battery in the tire sensor. I worked on the blog.

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At a little after 10 we left  and went downtown to visit the vendors. We wandered around and did not see anything that said take me home with you!

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We returned to the MH and did some more tasks. We then went back for lunch. We ate and went to the 1 PM National Lefse Cook-Off. We did not know what a Lefse was; basically it is a crepe made from potato flour.

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We watched them make the Lefse and bought two ($1 each with a glass of lemonade). You put butter and/or brown sugar on them rolled up. Been there done that! They were kind of lame. At the food court they served the sausages in them.

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We wandered through the Quilt Show. Below is a Harley Davison/Sturgis quilt.

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We went back to the MH and took a nap. Then we returned to town to watch the Mashed Potato Wrestling. It was a hoot!

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They hosed the kids off.

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BRRRR, it was 60 degrees! Can you imagine how cold the potatoes were and the water?? It was cold, wet, goo’ie, and slippery!   Obviously this little dude was cold! His father was the fireman. He looked like R2D2 wandering around with the cost on.

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And then we had David and Goliath. They have done this before, as David had suspenders to keep his pants up. This was a return event for them. We think they were father and son and the tag team guy was an uncle.

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We ate dinner at the food court and watched the Miss Tator Tot program.  The little girls first came out in an outfit made out of potato sacks. Then they brought them back in dressy clothes. The little girls were very cute and shy. They all cheered for each other which was really sweet!

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It started to rain and we returned to the MH.