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Sat. April 28- Fri. May 4 Denver to College Park MD

Saturday- I woke up early and worked on HEDIS for two hours, breaking to say good-bye to Ernie, Thelma, Mel, Ann and Fred. They were off to breakfast somewhere. We ate breakfast at home and prepared to leave. There is already someone waiting to get into our site!

With the motor home ready to leave, we walked the dogs down to Kathy and Brian’s motor home to say good-bye. We are going to miss them! We also think the dogs are going to be looking for them everywhere, since Brian and Kathy surprised them by  showing  up in Denver. 

We left around 10 AM, late for us. We turned east and drove across Colorado on I-70. Once you leave Denver, it is downhill from there,literally, we went down in altitude! Eastern Colorado is prairie, not as flat as you would expect, but pretty desolate, with grass and few trees.  The few trees have been planted right around farm houses that you can see in the distance. There was a strong wind, but it was at our back! At about 2 pm, we crossed into Kansas. Our plan was to stay in the small town of  Ellis. We have stayed there before in their pretty little city park.

At 2:30, we drove into the Central time zone, losing an hour. We are using our new Rand McNally RV GPS. We like this new GPS, as the gal inside is nowhere near as obnoxious at the witch who lives in the Garmin GPS. We now keep the Garmin in the car,  where, even though the witch is sleeping, she is probably still ‘recalculating!’.The Rand McNally recalculates to itself, and does it a lot faster.

We pulled into Lakeside City Park in Ellis at about 4:50 PM CST. The park has 18 sites, and most of them were full, possibly just for the weekend. In addition to the RV’s, of all types, there were several families fishing or the kids were playing on the playground equipment.

We quickly set up and walked the dogs. The temp was in the low 70’s and it looked like it was going to rain. We ate a dinner of leftovers, then sat outside in our recliners with the dogs on our laps. At 7 pm, the local Sheriff Deputy showed up to collect our $15 fee. We thought it was going to be $7, the off season price, but evidently the season has started!

We could only get one CBS station over the air, and the trees were blocking the satellite. Since it is Saturday, and there is nothing on TV anyway, it did not bother us. We read our books and went to bed.

Sunday-  We woke up early to a bird chirping outside our window. No rain during then night, in fact the sky had cleared out. I worked on HEDIS for a while and we pulled out of the campground at 9:20, with me driving. We drove onto I –70 east and stopped in Sedalia for diesel at $3.97/gal. That was the credit card price. We are going to have to start carrying more cash, as the cash price is a lot less!  Bob started driving.

We continued east to Abilene, where we turned south for two miles to the Dwight David Eisenhower Presidential Library. We tend to just fly across Kansas, skipping the sights, and decided that we should stop and take a look around. We ate lunch in the motor home, walked the dogs, then started our tour. 016-1

The Library has 5 buildings. Our first stop was at the Visitor Center. We arrived just in time to see the 22 minute introduction movie. It was interesting, but they sure gave Ike a lot of credit for things we do not think he actually accomplished. We do heartily thank him for the Eisenhower Interstate system, though!

Our second stop was at the ‘place of meditation’, which was a small chapel, where Ike and Mamie are buried, along with a son who only lived a few years.

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Ike and Mamie's gravesites @ Presidential Library

We had bought tickets for the Eisenhower home tour $10 each, which we thought was a bit much. Since the 1 pm tour had been full, we had to wait until 1:15. We were the only ones in this tour. The docent was an older woman, who told us all about the home. Ike was born in Denison TX, and the family moved to Abilene when Ike was 8. The family owned the house, which is on the original site, from 1896 to 1946. Ike was the third son, of 8 boys. His son, John is 89 years old, and living in Maryland. The Eisenhower’s were the third owners of the home, and it was opened to the public in 1949. It is located just across from Old Town Abilene and across from the National Greyhound (the dogs)museum.

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The home has 6 rooms downstairs and 3 rooms upstairs. It also had a basement. We were not allowed upstairs. We have found this everywhere, as it would damage the house, since they would have to add handicap access. They had pictures of the upstairs rooms, which were the boys bedrooms.

Eisenhower Library

The third building was the museum ( which we skipped due to time constraints) and the last building was the Library.  We went to the Library since they were having a Girl Scout exhibit. ( poor Bob!). They had a film running, but it was a silent film of the history of GSA. We watched about 2 minutes and left. In the hallway, they had decades of Girl Scout memorabilia. I was naturally most interested in the 1960’s, my era as a Girl Scout. I was a Brownie, Junior and Cadet, before they ran out of Troop Leaders. Thanks to my cousin Diane, who became my Cadet Troop Leader, since my mother was handicapped, and unable to be a leader.

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Ike' Statue with Pylons behing him.

We left the Library at about 2 PM, and continued east on I-70 to I-125, to Basswood Resort in Platte City MO.  There was a lot of fog along the way, and Bob had to slow the motor home down several times due to poor visibility. We usually stay here when in this area, as it is the only resort in the area. We grabbed some Chinese food for dinner in Platte City, watched TV and went to bed.  When we got into bed, we noticed that our Sleep Number dials were not working. Bob will call Sleep Number in the morning.

Monday-  We slept in a bit this morning. I worked on the blog, then started to work on HEDIS. There was only one chart for me to do! I have a conference call this morning with them.

Bob called about the Sleep Number mattress. Since we had a problem with the pump in the past, they are replacing it, free of charge. We are having it sent to Cherry Hill in Maryland, where we plan to be on Friday.

After my conference call, we went to lunch with Tom and Juanita. Tom was Bob’s college roommate. We went to a restaurant called Country Cook’in, were we have been before. We sat and talked for several hours.

We ran back to the motor home, walked and fed the dogs, then went to Leavenworth ( yes, that Leavenworth, where the military prison is located) for dinner with Joe and Bonnie. Joe is Bob’s younger brother.

The first restaurant we tried was closed on Monday, as were several others. We ended up at Pullman’s, which is ‘train’ themed restaurant. After a nice dinner and catching up with family, we went home, watched TV and went to bed.

Tuesday-  I worked for an hour on HEDIS and we pulled out of Basswood at 8:45. We stopped at the QT at I-25 to hook up the car to the back of the motor home, then drove east on I-475 to I-70 east. We stopped for lunch at a rest area, and just before we arrived in St. Louis, we pulled into a Flying J for diesel. We still had just a little more than half a tank, but diesel is 25 cents more expensive per gallon in Illinois than in Missouri. So we filled up!

The traffic in St. Louis was pretty bad, so we were very glad to get through safely. We drove about 50 miles into Illinois, and followed the GPS to Timber Trails Camp In in Mulberry Grove IL..  The GPS took us over country roads, which was scenic, but not faster. The park is a nice place with a Passport America discount, and a very flat site!. They were expecting three other RV’s to arrive, but they never did arrive!

It is very warm and humid, so we turned on all the fans, and sat outside. Since there was no one else near us, we let the dogs roam without a leash. They really liked that!

Wednesday- There was only 1 chart to review for HEDIS, so we pulled out of of Timber Trails at 8:30, with me driving. Once on the interstate, we cruised along, switching drivers at 10:30. Indianapolis traffic was a little better than St. Louis. At the Ohio border, we took the last exit and drove 11, grueling miles over a two lane  road to Arrowhead RV Park outside of New Paris. It was a very nice park!  We had a gravel site, 50 amp, with a concrete patio. The park was maintained well and the owners were nice. We walked the dogs around the park and BBQ’d some chicken for dinner. The only downfall for this Passport America park was the drive in to it.

Thursday- We left at about 8:45 and took a different route back to the interstate which was a lot better. The road was a little wider and newly paved. While cruising across Ohio, the travel nurse agency called. They said that they could not pay me the way that they had said. They were worried about the IRS. They had sent me a form requesting my information on state residency. I had filled it out truthfully, but since we do not own or rent in South Dakota, they think that the IRS will not accept our residency. They paid their attorney to investigate this issue. Yes, they do understand that we live in the motor home and travel, but the IRS does not tax part of your income if you live more than 50 miles from your job and it is a temp job ( less than 1 year). It does not make any sense to us that the IRS would not accept our residency. So anyway, they increased my hourly pay, but I am still going to be short on the net income per month.

We arrived at Mountain Pines RV Park in the Laurel Hills of PA. We had stayed at another park that was nearby last time we were in this area. The sites were not flat, so we did not want to go there again.

When we arrived at the park, they had a reservation for a tent. The staff rapidly made adjustments and put is in a 30 amp motor home site. Nowhere near as nice as last night! The cable TV did not work,  and we were under trees, so no satellite,;we read our books.

Since we had to use the PA turnpike, it cost us $10 to get here.

Friday- We drove out of the park at about 9:45. We were not in a hurry, as we were not sure what time the check–in was at Cherry Hill in College Park. We drove into a thunderstorm, so we pulled into the first rest stop to wait out the weather. When the sun came out, we drove on, running right back into the same thunderstorm again. So we stopped at the Pilot in Breezewood to eat lunch and wait out the storm again. $19.95 for the turnpike. That was a total of $29.95 in the two days using the PA Turnpike!

While we were there, the agency called and told me that the new contract was ready. Since we did not have the internet up and running, I told them I would look at it later, when we were set up.

We continued east on I-70, stopping at the rest area between Hagerstown and Frederick. We disconnected the car, and I drove behind the motor home to run interference for Bob. The traffic was worse than we remembered it being.  In fact, it was ghastly. UGH, the I-270 racetrack was just awful and the beltway even worse.

We made it safely though, to Cherry Hill RV park in College Park. I asked for a quiet site, so we are in the back of the park, with no one behind us. We can still hear the beltway traffic, when outdoors, but not inside. So far, so good!

I went to open the contract from the agency, and they had shorted me $2 per hour ! I complained, via email, and basically it is take it or leave it.  HUH? It is either the $2 per hour or my travel bonus.   Since I start work on Monday, I was needless to say, very upset. We decided to opt for the $2 per hour, as that was actually more money than the $500. Do I need to say that I will never work for this agency again! If we hadn’t already put out almost a thousand dollars to get here I would tell them to take a flying leap!

So to do this job, I am going to have to give up something. We were originally going to drive to Gulf Shores AL for my cousins 60th wedding anniversary. We are now not going to be able to go…. I would lose not only a weeks pay, but also it would cost us at least a thousand dollars ( a conservative estimate) for the week. So we are going to have to cancel. Do I need to say that I am disappointed? By not going, I can work an extra week and make up the lost income.

Cherry Hill is a very nice park. We had seen reviews that said that the sites are close together. We are parked in an area where the sites are not  that close together.

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