Sunday, June 24, 2012

We’re in Prior Lake, MN


Sunday, June 24, 2012                                                                                                                                        Lorraine’s report

If it’s Sunday, it must be time to write our blog so here goes. We are still in Dakotah Meadows RV Park in Prior Lake by Minneapolis MN. We have had a bit of excitement since last I wrote.

Father’s Day if you remember, I wrote about a storm that was coming towards us with lots of lightning, winds and heavy rains. Well, the storm did show up and was it more that they thought it would be.

It started about 10:00 PM with thunder and lightning lighting up the whole sky around us and across the whole horizon in front of us. The winds were gusting up to 50-60 MPH or above, and then the rains came. Chuck went to bed around 10:15, but I stayed up watching the local news.

About 11:15, I was getting ready to go bed when there came a loud pounding on our front door. I could hardly hear it because the storm was really raging by then. I opened the door and one of the Shokapee Mdewakanton Sioux’s firemen shouted that “We were advised to go to the storm shelter, the storm was getting bigger and coming on strong and we should head over to the storm shelter.” By then it was pouring rain so hard the fireman was soaked to the skin, even with his rain gear on. It was raining so hard, it looked like someone had taken a fire hose and turned it on full force above the rig and everywhere else. Rivers of water was flowing down the middle of our road, about 3-4 inches deep. Our door mat once again took a short trip.

I got Chuck up and told him what the fireman said, so we both started to dress. He said he didn’t think we needed to go, but we got ready anyway. A bolt of lightning had hit just over the left side of us, not real close but a short distance, but it was extremely loud and shook the rig; Misty jumped down from her bed and was acting strange and she was scared. She ran to the back of the rig then came back to me just shaking.

Chuck brought the car around front for me and we took Misty with us and headed over to find the storm shelter. We parked by the main bathrooms by the office and had to look for the shelter. A lady heading for it too told us where it was, so we headed to it.

About 25 to 30 other people had decided to seek shelter there with us. The rain, winds and lightning continued all night, but by midnight a bunch of us hardy souls decided to head back to our rigs to try to sleep. The storm front had gone through the area by then.

Chuck and I were soaked up to our knees from all the rain, but we finally were able to go to sleep after a bit. Our friends, Dave and Sandy, who parked right next to us with their rig, didn’t evacuate to the storm shelter. Since they lived here full time for most of their lives, I wondered if they thought the storm wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. The next morning I asked, and it turned out they had fallen asleep before the storm hit and slept right on through it, didn’t hear a thing. And here I was extremely afraid of the storm. since you can’t see in the dark.

So the rest of the week went by pretty quickly. We were with Dave and Sandy, so Chuck went with Dave and Sandy took me with her and we did our own thing. We had shopping, watering her plants, and mail to pick up. Chuck took care of things for the coach with Dave. We had the repairman over one afternoon to work on the hydro hot heater. It needed its yearly maintenance; a part broke or was broken by the repairman and the whole thing ended up costing more than we had planned.

Tuesday was another rainy wet, windy day. Lots of thunder and lightning, we had to bring the slides in at 3:30 am since the wind was hitting us so hard. After the storm front went through, the humidity was extremely high 95% with the temperatures hitting 96 degrees.

Wednesday and Thursday were gray cloudy days with periods of heavy rains, winds and thunder storms. The saving grace was that the temperatures were low 80’s-mid 70’s.

We’ve had fun visiting with Dave and Sandy. Most days found us doing our chores or running, eating and then home for games of 10,000. I’m not sure who the final big winner was, but I know Dave would come on strong and take over the lead when one of us was ready to go out to win the game.

Dave and Sandy had to leave on Thursday to head to a wedding in their family. Thank you both for all you did for Chuck and me; we enjoyed our visit with you both and look forward to seeing you again.

Before Dave and Sandy left they told us about a big oldies car show held yearly up at the Minnesota State Fair grounds in St. Paul. We headed out Friday morning to the Mall of America to try to find the bus stop that took you to the fair grounds. We found the bus stop, but no bus. So Chuck drove on into the fair grounds.

We were totally amazed at all the classic cars that were parked in the fair grounds. The evening news reported that over 11,000 classic cars from 1964 and below were present and being showed. Chuck and I walked for over four and a half hours straight and didn’t cover the whole event; maybe just 2/3rds of it? Not sure but I haven’t ever seen that many classic cars in one place. I think the Chevrolets were the predominant classic cars represented. The day was really nice but it did get hot in the late afternoon, 86 and high humidity. Chuck had put on sun screen but still burned his knees. Still it was the Best Car show we have ever been to.

I want to wish our son, Rick a very Happy Birthday on Wednesday, hope you have a great day! I miss you and look forward to the time we can be together again. Also that day is Richard and Sandy’s 3rd anniversary, hope you have many more wonderful years together!

On Tuesday, our Granddaughter, Kaitlyn called to tell us she had lost her second top tooth; thank you for calling to let us know, Kaitlyn, we appreciate knowing.

That’s it for me, until next time,




6/24/12                                                                                                                                                                      Chuck’s report

First off, Happy Birthday to our son Rich.  I think he is working two weeks on, two weeks off schedule and is on working now.  His birthday is Wednesday, hope you have a good one even if you are working.  And our friends back home, Richard and Sandy will be celebrating their third anniversary the same day, hope you have a good day too.  Sorry we can’t be at either but will be thinking of you.

Boy am I glad the thunderstorms have stopped, at least we haven’t had any more since Wednesday.  Sunday night we got evacuated to the storm shelter, heavy thunderstorms forecast.  We stayed there about an hour or so before the storm died down some then came back to the coach.  We were both soaked, the rain was so hard it was like walking through a fire hose spray.  But at least there was no hail once again.  Dave and Sandy didn’t go to the storm shelter and we were discussing it with them the next morning, seems they both slept through the whole thing, didn’t even hear the constant thunder.  We would have given then a call had it been worse but this way they had a good night’s sleep, ha.  Then again on Tuesday night we had another storm, this time we pulled in our slides and stuck it out.  Not as bad as the one two nights before but the winds were from a different direction.

Lorraine and Sandy made a couple of shopping trips this week, to the Mall of America and other places as well.  Both Dave and I found things around the coaches that had to be worked on instead, sorry we missed the shopping trips.  And of course we ate good too, went out to the casino for a couple of dinners, had a couple home made here and one time to the Cracker Barrel. 

Dave and Sandy had to leave on Thursday, they have to head North to attend a wedding on Saturday.  We said our usual so long, see you later, it’s sad when we have to break up but we know we will see then someplace down the road, maybe even this winter depending on our schedules.  Thanks Dave and Sandy for coming out and spending time with us!!!

After they left, the mobile service guy came by to service our Hydro Hot system.  This is the diesel burner that supplies hot water for domestic use and where we get our heat in the winter.  We haven’t had to use the heat portion for awhile but do turn it on at least twice a day for our showers so it gets used.  They recommend getting it serviced once a year and we were a couple of months late on  this one.  It was making some noise and had diesel smell when it was running so it was time.  They found lots of soot built up, no surprise there and the flame scanner was broke.  They cleaned everything up, changed the burner tip, flame scanner and filter and it runs just fine once again.  I can say they are really proud of the flame scanner, $210 WOW.

We’ve been having trouble with our MIFI from Verizon.  I ordered a replacement to be delivered to us when we got here almost two weeks ago, it was returned without being delivered.  I spent a couple of hours tracking that one down and reordered.  After four days I called again, two hours on the phone once again and found the gal never put the re-order in.  I wasn’t too happy but this time they were pretty good, they agreed to overnight it at no charge to us and this time it showed up.  Only problem was it didn’t come to the coach but to the office, luckily I checked  before I called them again.  Anyway, the new one is installed, programed and works good so far. 

Before Dave and Sandy left, there were three coaches that came in to the campground towing classic cars.  Dave mentioned there was the annual “Back to the 50s” car show in St. Paul this weekend, sponsored by the car club they belong to.  They have a very nice ‘64 Chevelle that they keep in the shop but they wouldn’t be able to attend this year.  I volunteered to drive their car but for some reason they declined, go figure. 

So Friday morning we took off to find the fairgrounds.  We first stopped by the Mall Of America, there was supposed to be a shuttle to the fair grounds from there but we couldn’t find it.  So we decided to just drive over and see if we could find parking.  The traffic started getting bad about two miles before the place and all the side street parking spots were full.  I was going to let Lorraine off at the entrance but found a side street parking spot about three blocks away, score. 

Anyway, we went in and enjoyed looking at all the cars, well I say all but we didn’t make it down all the areas.  Someone told us there was over 11,000 cars, the news said over 10,000.  I know we saw lots and lots of good cars but seeing as how we haven’t won a lottery lately, I didn’t drool over any one too much.  But if money was no object, there were lots of cars I would love to own!  This show is for cars 1964 or earlier so no Mustangs.  I really like ‘55, ‘56 and ‘57 Chevys and there were lots of them.  The weather was sunny and hot and we walked a lot but it was well worth it, we both enjoyed ourselves. 

Saturday we just took it easy, I think Lorraine said I took a 2 hour nap.  We then drove back to the Cracker Barrel for dinner before coming back to the casino.  We’ve been here almost two weeks and this is only the second time we’ve given the slots a try.  But same results this time, neither one of us won, bummer. 

The weather has been really nice, I won’t even complain about it being too hot when it gets into the 90s although the humidity can get high too.  It cools off to the high 50s, low 60s at night and like I said, we haven’t had to deal with any thunderstorms the last few nights either.  There is a pond just in front of us at the campground but I can’t say the bugs have been bad although I did get a mosquito bite last night.  Overall we have enjoyed our stay here at Misty Lake Dakotah Meadows. 

Although we haven’t had it too bad here, there is some bad flooding in the state.  The worse of it is North of us, in fact, there is some flooding in the Grand Rapids area.  There is also some flooding and lots of downed trees to the East of here, guess it must be the time of year for thunderstorms up here. 

The folks that are having trouble here aren’t sitting around waiting for the government to help them, they are rolling up their sleeves and getting it done, not like what made the news after Katrina hit New Orleans a few years ago.  I haven’t even heard of a national organization raising money to help them out, you know, the kind that says for just $2/day you can help a family of four or whatever.  I like this type of American attitude! 

Our plans have changed a bit.  We will head out tomorrow morning, earlier than usual, to get the dip stick tube replaced at a repair place just up the road.  After that we will head to a KOA near Osseo to visit with my aunt, uncles and cousins for a couple of days.  After that we had planned to continue North, I wanted to go to Grand Rapids where I was born then continue on to and through North Dakota to see the oil boom area.  That portion of the trip has been changed however as we have a leak on the hydraulic jacks that I just can’t find.  I called the factory in Iowa and they suggested we bring it in and let them repair it.  They are about 300 miles to the South of us and they could get us in on our schedule so that’s what we will be doing on Wednesday after our visit with family.

We have reservations at Glacier National Park over the 4th, will still be able to make that stop.  We’ve never been there but it’s been on our wish list for awhile, hope it lives up to our expectations.  We will be there about a week before headed back to Washington for another round of doctor visits, our last for this year.  Hoping for a clear bill of health and some visiting with family and friends before heading out a another adventure for the winter.  I don’t plan on having to return back to a job this winter or next spring so we should be able to stay in warmer weather, yea. 

Ok, time to add some pictures and get this posted.  Lorraine took lots of pictures at the car show, I’ll have a tough time picking which ones to put here.

I actually had to go inside but only for about two minutes. 


At the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul for “Back to the 50s” car show. 

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This is just one street, lots of cars along the sides and people everywhere. 

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A ‘57 Chevy with a matching boat, “Sham-a-Lama-a-Dinghy”.

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I think I’ve seen this one before.

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That’s a Rolls Royce on the left. 

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I could easily have posted three times as many pictures but you get the idea, there were lots of good cars here.  

Thanks   Chuck

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We’re in Prior Lake, MN.


Sunday, June, 17, 2012                                                                                                                                           Lorraine’s report

Hello from Dakotah Meadows RV Campground in Prior Lake, MN. We arrived here last Tuesday after spending last Sunday driving all day, not even stopping to make a sandwich for lunch, just kept on driving through South Dakota; it was a pretty windy day and a very long drive; SD is a wide state.

We crossed into central time that day, loosing another hour. We stopped at Poinsett State Park, by Arlington, SD on the far eastern side of SD for two days to see good friends, Jim and Annie Montgomery. We met Jim and Annie several years ago by San Diego; they helped us out by taking care of Misty when my liver tried to shut down and I had to go into the hospital.

We got into Lake Poinsett around 6:15 or so, but the spot the ranger gave us was in a bunch of trees, so I went back to the office to ask for a clear site so we could get satellite. The park had emptied out by the time we arrived and we had plenty of sites to choose from, but being an older park, the trees were big and there were lots of trees. We found a nice spot right on the lake and set up the rig about 45 minutes later.

The wind was blowing pretty hard and the lake had white caps on it. The wind continued to howl all night and pretty much throughout the next day and night. It was hard to even open the rig’s front door, the wind kept pushing against it.

Just as we arrived on the shore to set up the rig, Annie called me. She could see us through her binoculars from her lot about a mile or so down from us. We made plans to meet up the next day, I made food and we went to bed, tired from a long day of driving.

Monday found us headed over to Jim and Annie’s cabin fairly early. We visited until lunch time and decided to go to eat. Chuck drove us into Arlington to go eat at the Dakota Sioux Casino’s buffet for Senior’s day, but it had closed by the time we arrived. We played a bit, Chuck won, the rest of us lost, and then Jim and Annie took us to a nice place to eat. We had a really good dinner with them, visiting the whole time continuing to catch up. All too soon our visit was over, but it was so good to see both of them and spend the time we did together. Thank you both for a wonderful visit.

The following day found us headed into Prior Lake to Dakotah Meadows RV Park where we were to meet up with Dave and Sandy Hasselberg, a couple of good friends we met in Red Bay, Alabama several years ago. The wind had eased up and our drive into Prior Lake was a lot nicer.

We have been here since, enjoying our visit with Dave and Sandy. Sandy made us a very nice dinner the second evening here, I made them a nice dinner the next evening when they moved on into this RV Park.

They have a new rig, a 26 foot Lazy Days class C which they picked up last fall. They had one when they first started camping and really enjoyed it, so they decided to go back to it after they bought their home here several years ago. It’s a really nice rig and I’m sure they will get lots of enjoyment out of it.

We taught them how to play 10,000, a dice game we knew from yeas ago. We went to dinner on Friday evening with their friends John and Pat and Jerry; enjoying meeting their friends again. Dave took us for a nice long drive to Cabela’s on Saturday afternoon.  We went over to the Shokapee Mdewakanton Sioux Casino, Mystic Lake for a short time of gaming; Dave didn’t go so he was the big winner.

Thursday we woke up to a very dark threatening day; it proceeded to darken as the morning went on and then the skies opened up with heavy lightening and lots of thunder storms. The rain came on extremely hard; like there were rivers of rushing water down the center of the road here in the park, while our welcome mat floated away in the makeshift river in front of the rig. Several miles away, a small town got 10 inches of rain in a couple of hours and caused flooding all over that town. It took several days for that town’s river to recede.

Today, Father’s Day is sunny and nice, but the weather calls for more thunder, lightening and heavy rains tonight around dinner time, I’m not looking forward to that since they predict there could be hail with the storms coming in today. It’s been warm, low to mid 80’s with lot of humidity, when it isn’t raining from the thunder storms.

I would like to wish all our family and friends a very Happy Father’s Day. Hope everyone enjoys themselves. Rose graduated yesterday, looks like it went well, congratulation, Rose. I forgot to say to Rick and Joy, so sorry you lost Keesha, I know how much you loved your dog, and I pray your sorrow over loosing her eases.

So that’s it for me, until next time….




6/17/12                                                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

I don’t celebrate too many of the “made” holidays but just the same, Happy Father’s day to all you fathers and to everyone’s father too. 

Last Sunday was a travel day for us, we left Rapid City and headed across South Dakota to just North of Arlington to Poinsett State Park.  We planned on only staying two nights and wanted to visit with our friends Jim/Annie who spend their summers here.  We took the state roads, staying off the freeway, hoping to see more of the area.  This part of the state is pretty flat, mostly large farms with small towns every 10 miles or so.  We are certainly in early summer here, everything is green and fresh. 

We got in pretty late and had to find a site that would work for us so we didn’t get to see Jim and Annie until Monday morning.  We went by their place, they have two lots right on the lake with a cabin and their motor home.  They have a dock and a pontoon boat on a lift just a few steps from their front door, pretty nice.  Unfortunately the winds never did die down enough for us to go for a boat ride, bummer.  But we had a good visit none the less. 

As I said, the wind never did die down, it was blowing 20-30 MPH most of the time  with whitecaps on the waves in the lake.  Pretty but we couldn’t stay outside without finding a sheltered place from the wind. 

We decided to to go out for lunch to the casino about 30 miles away in Watertown so we headed back to our place to take Misty for a walk first.  Then back to their place, only about a mile away.  Off we went to the casino with our own tour guides keeping us informed of the area we were traveling.  But when we got to the casino, we found we had just missed their lunch buffet and they wouldn’t open again for two hours.  So we played the slots for a while then went to diner type place for lunch. 

After lunch we stopped back at their place for more visiting before going back to our place for the evening.  Although it was short, we sure enjoyed our time with these good folks.  They will be busy this summer as they are planning on building a new cabin, good luck with that.

Wednesday was to be a shorter travel day than Sunday so once again we drove the state roads.  Pretty much the same, lots of farms with corn, soybeans and lots of hay.  I was surprised to see all the hay bales left over from last year and even before, must have been either good years for hay or bad years for cattle. 

We got to Dakota Meadows RV park, checked in and got set up.  This park is just one of many businesses the local Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe have in the area.  They are a very successful tribe with each tribal member getting large dividend checks each year.  Just goes to show what a well run tribe can do.  And the park is set up very nice, kept up very well too.  The only thing I don’t care for is they have the sites set up so the utilities are shared by two different rigs, one pulls in one way and the neighbor pulls in the other.  That makes it very close on the driver’s side but there is a nice grassy area on the patio side.  The place is full this weekend, guess lots of folks want to get out and enjoy the weather.

Just after we got set up, our friend Dave called and asked if he and Sandy could come over for a visit.  Of course we readily agreed and waiting for them to show up after dinner.  But we got a phone call saying Sandy had gotten sick and wouldn’t be able to come over.  Later Dave rode his Honda three-wheeler over so we had a short visit with him. 

Next morning we drove around running errands, one to a truck repair place to get our dip stick tube that had been leaking.  I’ve been in contact with Spartan about this and they recommend that we have a repair shop replace this rather than attempt to do it myself as it is a pressed fitting.  This means the old one has to be removed using a slide hammer and the new one pressed in, not hard but using special tools that we don’t carry.  So we agreed to drop it off on Tuesday as soon as we can, they suggested 6 AM but that sure isn’t going to happen!  We will get there much later than that as we usually aren’t even awake by then, ha. 

After we completed our errands, we returned to put the groceries away, walked Misty then headed over to Dave and Sandy’s house for dinner.  We had a great visit plus a great dinner, it’s always good to visit with these two, seems we just hit it off from the first time we met them.  They used to fulltime in Tiffin Bus too but found they were spending their summers back here so they bought a townhouse and became snowbirds vs fulltime.  Last year, they decided to downsize their motor home so they ordered and picked up a 26’ Lazy Days class C which they really enjoy.  They can get in the smaller parks and it’s set up for dry camping if/when they want too. 

They were going to get their motor home out of the garage, load it up and come out to the site next too us on Thursday.  We woke up to bright sun shine but soon it started clouding up and by 9 am it was dark enough the street lights came on and the birds were quiet.  Soon we were in a storm with winds, thunder, lightening and rain.  We had a couple of alarms on our weather radio, saying sever thunderstorms were in the area.  Soon a second storm came by, again not too bad but the forecast was for bad storms in the afternoon.  Lorraine called Sandy to let them know we would understand if they didn’t want to come out in the storms but they had just finished loading up in between the storms and were on their way.

We were between storms when they arrived and got set up.  The guy just across the street from the had arrived about an hour earlier and he didn’t even attempt to set up, the rains were pretty heavy.  Lorraine had been making dinner for us so we had a short visit, they went back to their rig next to us just before dinner.  But then the next storm storm hit, some lightening and thunder but mostly just LOTS of rain.  The streets were flooded, in fact, one of our welcome mats flooded away.  The rains stopped long enough for them to walk over without getting soaked so we had a good visit and another good dinner and played a dice game.  I haven’t been able to prove it but I think Dave might be able to roll a certain number whenever he wants, not saying he cheats but----

After a good time, they returned to their rig and we called it a night, again with storms in the area.  The next morning, the local new was full of information about the storms, one area to the East of us got almost 10” of rain with the river flooding.  We must have had over two inches here, glad there was no hail.

Friday we just took it easy, sat outside when we could, made a run back to Davy/Sandy’s place and just relaxed.  Later we were invited to go to their Friday night get together with their friends.  This time they met a pizza place, there we seven of us and we had a good time with their friends too. 

Every time we get together, Dave and I usually take a walk in the morning, usually solving all the world’s problem along the way.  After our walk, the gals have made our plans for the day and the day starts.  Saturday we were to head to Cabelas sporting shop about 40 miles away.  What a nice day for a drive, sunny and no winds, clouds in the distance but not threating us with a big storm.  Dave took a route that went through some small towns and lots of farming areas. 

After our stop there, we went to lunch at Culvers, a new place for us.  It was crowded the whole time we were there, the hamburgers, fries and malt were good, we may have to stop off a one of these again. 

Then it was back to the rigs for more visiting outside in the lounge chairs.  Lorraine wanted to go to the casino, Sandy and I agreed to go along while Dave decided to stay at the rig.  Lets just say that Dave was the big winner, we that went to the casino paid for our entertainment.  Afterwards, we came back to the rig and played dice until dark, once again I can’t prove it but ----.  But I did luck out and win one game, came up big on the last roll, sorry Sandy. 

Our plans are to stay here for another week but Dave and Sandy have to head out to a wedding next Thursday.  I have some family in the area that I want to see but haven’t made arrangements yet so guess our plans aren’t really set in stone.  I am working on making a reservation for somewhere on July 4th, sometimes all the campgrounds are full on holidays so we try to make reservations for then.  But mostly this week is just for visiting with our friends.  The weather forecast is for thunder storms this evening, tomorrow with heavy storms on Tuesday with possible tornados, let’s hope not.  Once we get through that stretch, the weather is supposed to settle down and be nice, yea. 

Now here it is almost 9:30, sunny and clear outside.  We are heading out to Cracker Barrel for brunch later so guess I’ll add some pictures and get this posted. 

Lots of dinosaur fossils and such around the area.  We saw mostly round hay bales, not the little ones we used when I was on the farm.

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We sure like to see those big USA flags and churches as we travel. 

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The Missouri River in South Dakota. 

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Laura Ingalls Wilder house, we didn’t stop however. 

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We saw some pheasants traveling through the state but this one was the biggest. 

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Never could figure out what the fire was but the smoke was visible for miles. 

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Our site at the Poinsett State Park and the sun going down over the lake.

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That’s Jim and Chuck on his dock, his pontoon boat on behind Jim. 

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Annie and Jim/Annie at Lunch.

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Not sure what the picture was showing except for the bugs on the windshield. 

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Had to get a picture of the odometer on the coach.  We’ve been on the road for almost 5 years now. 

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Dave on his Honda three wheeler.  John and Pat at dinner. 

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Jerry on the left, Sandy and Dave on the right. 

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Dave has this boat trailer and ramp that fits in the bed of a pickup.  He has it for sale, quite a deal if anyone would like to carry their boat instead of pulling it.  Let me know if anyone is interested and I’ll give you his contact information.  Only $2200.00 and in perfect shape. 

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Dave and Sandy’s new Lazy Days motor home parked right next to us.

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That’s our rig. 

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Lorraine like the ivy on the house and garage. 

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These are at the airport, used to be at a museum Dave said. 


That’s it, thanks   Chuck