Sunday, June 30, 2013

We’re in Prior Lake, MN


June 30th 2013                                                                                                                         Lorraine’s report

Hello once again from the Shakopee Sioux RV Park in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

We have had Chuck's family reunion, and I must say it was wonderful.  To see all his relatives, their families and off spring was pretty amazing.  Aunt Lila and her daughter Karla did a wonderful job of getting and keeping a whole bunch of relatives together; and it was amazing.  Only 2 of Chuck’s brothers didn't make it up to the reunion.  Sorry we missed you Ivan and Brian.  But it was great to visit with everyone and see how you who did show up.   There was no talk of when we would get together again. 

This week has been pretty eventful for me.  I had surgery on my left foot, that ganglion cyst I have been having trouble with was removed.  It was on Thursday, two days before the reunion.  Now I know this wasn't the best timing, but the surgeon I saw is off next week and wouldn't be doing any surgeries.  It was a bit wild to get the appointment in the first place.  We called a place to schedule an appointment, and that nurse transferred me to several other places,  I ended up at the Burnside Orthopedic Doctor's Office, and as luck would have it, I was able to get into see him the following day.  We kept the appointment and that doctor said I could get surgery, on Thursday, about 8 am.  It was not the best situation, but I took it, knowing how hard it was to get in and see a doctor and to be seen by a certified orthopedic surgeon, and he did have time in his schedule for me. 

Susy and Kaitlyn came in that day, and while I didn't get to meet them at the airport, they did come by to see me, so all's well and even though Katie is with her mommy at Yami's hotel, we see them every day. Chuck is writing out all the stuff for this week, so I'm just writing a short bit.

So yesterday was the reunion, and a fine day it was.  The temperature had moderated, not to much humidity.  Everyone there seemed to be enjoying each other's company.  Lila's brothers, Chuck’s uncles Keith and David were there and it was nice to visit with them, learning about old times.  I'm not sure how many people came, but Chuck did a rough count and we think about 130 people show up.  and of course there was so much food, that if you went away hungry, it was your own fault. And I have to say, the salads and desserts were absolutely wonderful, and enough chocolate there for an army, was totally wonderful. 

Well, yesterday I took a shower and Chuck wrapped my foot back up again.  But all was not right with my left foot.  While sitting in the shade, resting my foot on ice, the side of my foot started getting what looks like an angry red blister.  It was small at first, then it kept getting bigger and bigger.  By later on in the afternoon, it was the size of a thumb, and about as long and wide too.  It was red, hot and not feeling good.  So the decision was made to take me to a walk in clinic.  So we took the rig, came back to the RV park, went in the car to St Francis Regional Hospital and Emergency room.  Of course we had to wait a while, it being a Saturday evening when everyone needs to see a doctor they go to emergency. 

We waited and waited, finally Susy, Kaitlyn and Yami went to go eat while we sat there.  A few minutes after they left the doctor saw me. He said it didn't look like it was related to my surgery, but he couldn't be sure.  It needed to be drained and then he put me on an antibiotic for 10 days.  It took from 4:30 until we got back at 9 pm.  All of Chuck's family went to dinner, but oh well.  I'm happy to have that ganglion cyst removed, even though it hasn't been very easy. 

Susy, Yami and Kaitlyn are shopping, and now we need to go see Aunt Lila up at here home. 

I'm not sure how far we came, but it was fun, and it was nice to see everyone.  Thanks once again to Aunt Lila and Karla for doing this; I know it was a lot of work on you both. Also, thanks to Susy, Kaitlyn and Yami for being here for us.  Take care and well see you down the road...



6/30/13                                                                                                                                           Chuck’s report

Yea, after a great trip, we’ve reached our destination for the family reunion.  We’ve been slowly traveling East and North, sure glad we aren’t in the extremely hot weather back in the West.  I can’t believe anyone would travel to Death Valley to be there just in case they break the hottest temperature ever recorded, I think that would be 135F, and they might get that today. But I did read where quite a few folks were there, hoping to see a record breaking temperature.  No thanks, I’ll stick with the 70s and 80s, thank you. 

Last Sunday was a travel day for us, we were getting too much rain in Morton so we called and told them we would come here a few days earlier than expected, no problem.  But Saturday evening we were having electrical issues in the coach, I was thinking maybe our inverter was out as we didn’t have any 120 amp electrical power inside the rig.  I first tried tripping and resetting all the circuit breakers, no luck there.  I tried lots of different combinations and found that if I disconnected from shore power, I did have power to some outlets?  Boy, that was stumping my ability because with no shore power, I had to have power from the inverter.  But anyway, while I had power we retracted the satellite antenna because I wasn’t sure if we would still have power in the morning when we got ready to leave.

Sure enough, we soon lost all 120 again, we tried with the generator running, shore power and from the inverter, nothing.  But we were able to charge the batteries when on shore power so we decided to head out in the morning anyway and get a mobile RV tech we’ve used before here in Prior Lake to assist me when we got here. 

After a pretty uneventful trip, we got here and got set up.  I was hoping some of the bumps in the road might shake things back in place and we would have power after we hooked up but no such luck.  I called the RV tech and left a message, I’m still waiting for the call back by the way, 7 days later. 

I recently made connections so I could plug/unplug my auto former and/or surge protector instead of having the auto former plug into the shore power pole and the surge protector was hard wired.  I know from my troubleshooting experience to always question the last change that was made so I unplugged everything but still no luck.  But I did notice I was getting power on both legs of shore power but didn’t show any volts on leg 1.  No really knowing what could cause that, I once again tripped and reset all the circuit breakers, still no change. 

I figured the only thing left was a either a broken/burned wire somewhere or problem with the transfer switch but I couldn’t guess what might be wrong with the transfer switch as I did have power without the generator running or shore power connected back in Morton.  But what the heck, I’ll check the transfer switch anyway.  Once I got the box opened, I found where one of the main wires from the transfer switch to the coach was very loose and the connection was burned, meaning that was a bad thing I thought.  But to get that wire back into the connection ended up being about a four hour repair and I wasn’t sure that was the main cause our problem but it had to be fixed anyway.   

So after taking everything out of the electrical compartment so I could get better access, I started peeling back insulation and disconnecting/reconnecting wires.  I was able to get any three of the four wires hooked up but couldn’t get the fourth wire no matter which combination I tried.  Finally I took the wire bundle apart and worked with each of the four wires individually.  Even then it took a long time but I finally got everything back and was satisfied I had good connections on each wire. 

Holding my breath, I turned on power and found - - I didn’t have power to anything, anywhere.  Now I know I didn’t unhook any of the main power wires from the shore power to the transfer switch but that seemed to be the cause.  So I went to turn off the power at the shore power pole and notice that I had forgotten to plug in after I finished rewiring the transfer switch, I had unhooked it to insure there couldn’t possibly be any power to the wires I was working on.  So holding my breath, I plugged it in, turned on the power and after the surge protector did it’s thing, got power to the transfer box.  I went inside the coach and found we did have power to everything.  YEA, I managed to fix an electrical problem, even though my trouble shooting skills didn’t lead me to the correct assumption.  But I didn’t care, I fixed it, ha. 

Now our friends who live here, Dave and Sandy, knew were coming in early and called to invite us over to their house for dinner.  I told them we would be there as soon as I found and fixed the electrical issue, probably about an hour or so.  Lorraine kept calling them to tell them I still didn’t know what was wrong but was going to try “one more thing first”.  They were good about it, said everything was good and just come over when we could. 

So after I cleaned some of the grease off my hands and such, we headed over to their house for dinner.  We had a great time and visit with these fine folks, we saw them in Arizona back in early April so didn’t have too much to catch up on.  The last two times we were at this RV park, they have brought their rig over and set up next to us.  But this time we caught them between rigs, they were planning on getting a new one this winter and their old one sold unexpectedly early so the don’t have a rig right now. 

So thanks Dave and Sandy for a good meal and better friendship and visit, just what I needed after a day of working on electrical stuff I don’t really understand anyway. 

Monday we made a few phone calls and found a place where Lorraine could get a pedicure, she’s been trying in the last three places we were staying without any luck so she really wanted to get it done before the reunion.  After that, we had an appointment with an urgent care place to see if they could/would remove that ganglion cyst she has on her left foot.  We’ve been to two different clinics in the past couple of weeks but didn’t have any luck with either of them.  We were hoping that we would have better luck with this group as we were planning on being in this area for a longer time. 

We didn’t have any problem getting to see the doctor but he wasn’t interested in cutting it out, his recommendation was to see an orthopedic surgeon instead, shoot, not what we wanted to hear.  But the gal at the front desk was very helpful, called three places and got us an appointment to see a surgeon the next afternoon. 

So Tuesday we ran a few other errands then stopped by the surgeon’s office.  He agreed to do the surgery on Thursday morning IF we could get a pre-op physical before then.  Thursday was for sure not our first choice for surgery because Susy and Kaitlyn were coming in that afternoon and we had the reunion on Saturday.  But the doctor was on vacation for the following week and said he wouldn’t do the surgery unless we were confirmed to be in the area for at least 10 days after the surgery.  So we went ahead and set up the time slot and then hoped there wouldn’t be any issues with the pre-op physical. 

We called the doctor we had seen at the urgent care place but wouldn’t you know it, he was off for the next two days.  Lorraine tried explaining our time concerns and finally they agreed that a different doctor could see her  Wednesday afternoon.  But they called back about 1/2 later and said that doctor had other plans and could we come in later to see a physician's assistant.  We agreed to the time and doctor change.

Wednesday morning we drove our car up to scout out the park where the reunion was to be held on Saturday.  We found it with assistance from the GPS and it looked like a very nice place that my aunt Lila had picked for the reunion.  After that we headed out to get the pre-op thing done.  The gal didn’t really want to do it that close to the actual surgery but due to our time constraints agreed to get all the tests done on the same day and would fax the results to the surgeon’s office.  So finally, after three attempts, we were set to go to get that cyst removed from Lorraine’s foot. 

After the doctor’s visit, we met with Dave and Sandy at the casino here at the park for dinner and a bit of slot play too.  We had a good time at dinner, Dave and I not so good at the slots but at least the gals both won.  This is a big casino, easy to get lost and hard to find someone too.  Dave and Sandy were ready to leave and tried calling us on our phones but of course the service inside the casino isn’t very good but they were able to get ahold of me.  I tried to find Lorraine with no luck so they just said to tell her bye for them and went home.   After another trip around the big slot floor, I found Lorraine.  She had been trying to call me on the phone with no luck and was sorry that she hadn’t seen Dave and Sandy before they left.  But we called it a day too and returned to our home on wheels. 

Next morning we had to get up early, I was up at 4:30 and woke Lorraine up at 5:00.  We had to leave around 6 and check in at the surgical center by 6:30 for her appointment at 8:00.  We made it with time to spare, got checked in and waited in the pre-op bed until the doctor showed up a few minutes before 8:00.  After going through everything, double checking the records and checking the pre-op info from the doctor the day before, he gave the ok to continue with the surgery. 

They had Lorraine all prepped and ready, the anesthetist doctor came by to talk with her then the operating room nurses showed up to take her away.  I had the doctor give me her prescription for pain pills and I ran over to a Wal Greens to have it filled while she was in the operating room.  I got back and didn’t have to wait but a few minutes before they allowed me to go back and see her in the recovery room.  The doctor came by and told me everything had gone well.  The cyst was deeper than he first thought, it was coming from a joint and he had to scrape the bone too, hoping to make sure it doesn’t come back. 

Because they had to dig a little deeper than anticipated, that meant they put Lorraine under a bit deeper than expected too.  Once she woke up, she was feeling a bit nauseous so the anesthetist doctor came by and gave her a shot and a patch to put behind her ear to help.  They also allowed her drink some juice and eat a couple of crackers which helped too.  Within minutes, she was feeling better and the rest of the recovery was without issues. 

About 11:00, the nurses were checking her out and agreed she could be discharged and go home, yea.  She had a bandage on the surgery site and her foot was wrapped with an ace bandage.  She said her foot was still numb from the surgery and didn’t need/want any pain pills so we got her dressed and into the car.  The trip back home went quick and I got her into the coach and in bed in short order. 

Lorraine slept off and on for awhile and about 3:00 or so wanted to sit up on the couch.  She also asked for a pain pill as she was feeling some pain in her foot from the surgery.  So she ate a banana and took her pain pill and the pain didn’t get any better.  About 1/2 hour later, I gave her another pill, hate to get behind in pain control.  She said this one was working so we set up a schedule of one pill every two hours vs. two pills every four hours as prescribed.  It worked just fine for the rest of the day.

Our daughter Susy and grand daughter Kaitlyn were flying in from California with a plane change in Chicago and called to let us know they were delayed in Chicago due to a thunderstorm, might not even get out that afternoon.  So I waited around the coach, taking care of Lorraine and when Susy called to let us know they were loading the plane, I headed out to the airport.  Of course, the plane was late even then but when I got to the airport I spotted Susy’s friend from Florida who was also coming in for a visit.  I was able to visit with Yami while we waited for over an hour for Susy’s plane.  I called Lorraine a couple of times to check on her and keep her informed of what was happening.  Finally, about three hours late, their plane came in, Yami picked up their rental car and we all went back to the coach. 

Kaitlyn was sure excited to see Nana and it’s been about three years since we’ve seen Yami too.  But after a short visit they had to leave so Lorraine could rest and to get Katie in bed.  Boy, it was a busy day, surgery in the morning and a visit with Susy, Kaitlyn and Yami that evening. 

Lorraine had to get up three times during the night to use the restroom and take her pain pills.  Friday morning she got up and was in pain so we kept the pills going.  I went by to pick up Susy and Katie from their hotel and bring them back to the coach.  My brother Brad, his GF Dolly and my oldest brother Steve had driven up from St. Louis and we invited them to come by too. 

After awhile, it was time for everyone to leave and let Lorraine rest so they took off except for Katie who stayed here to help nurse Nana.  I asked Susy to stop by Costco and pick up some roasted chickens and invited Steve, Brad and Dolly over to our place for dinner after they picked up my sister, Corliss and my niece, Samantha from the airport.  They had flown in from Bowling Green, Kentucky for the reunion too.  So soon we had a full house and a good time too.  After dinner, everyone took off for their hotel and I got Lorraine settled in once again.  Another good day and Lorraine was able to keep the pain under control too. 

Saturday morning we got up and got the rig ready to travel as we were taking it to the reunion.  I hoped it would help Lorraine, give her a place to rest if needed and have all our stuff with us as needed too.  Only problem, Susy had taken our car to the hotel the night before and our GPS was still in our car.  I knew the general directions we needed but must have relied on the GPS too much when we checked out the place on Wednesday morning as I wasn’t sure of which exit to use.  But I called Susy and she read me the directions from the GPS and we took off.  We only called Susy once on the trip to get addition info and made it to the reunion site with no further issues. 

Once there, we set up the rig then walked over to the pavilion to meet with the folks who were already there.  As the day progressed, of course, more and more folks showed up and food and such was put out.  Everyone seemed to have a good time visiting with known acquaintances as well as those who they hadn’t met yet. 

I was pleased that of my seven remaining brothers and sister, five of them were able to make the reunion.  It’s been over three years since we’ve been in Missouri or Kentucky so it was good to see them again.  Plus two of my favorite nieces from Missouri were able to attend too.  I won’t try to go through everyone who was there, I think there was over 135 people who showed up.  But it was good to meet with my aunt, uncles, nieces, cousins and all who were there. 

Saturday morning after Lorraine had her shower she showed me a rash on the side of her foot, same one she had surgery on.  As the day progressed the rash turned into a blister, getting bigger every time I checked it.  After all the group pictures and such, Lorraine told me the blistered area was hurting and was getting hot as well.  I went over to our coach and started getting it ready to go back home, planning on taking Lorraine to an urgent care place near our RV park.  While I was getting everything in traveling order, Susy and Yami came by and suggested I get Lorraine to the doctor as they were worried also. 

So we drove the rig back to our spot in the RV park, stopped long enough to hook up power and hopped in the car and took Lorraine to the urgent care place at the nearby hospital.  We got checked in and they said that due to her recent surgery she couldn’t be seen in the urgent care but must go to the emergency room, same place, different door.  Only thing is the waiting time would be longer, just like most emergency rooms I’ve been to. 

As with most emergency rooms, it took awhile for the nurse to show up and check Lorraine.  She came in and told her to get undressed and put on a gown.  I suggested that seeing as she had a problem with her foot, she shouldn’t have to get undressed.  The nurse didn’t seem to be impressed with my thinking but agreed.  She got the information she needed then said the doctor would be in.  Of course, the emergency rooms were full and he was busy but finally he stopped by to take a look too.  He asked some questions, assured us that it wasn’t an infection like we were worried about and said he had to check out two other patients then would return. 

It took about an hour before he got back but he was ready to drain the blister.  By now it was about the size and shape of my thumb.  It didn’t take too long to clean the area and poke a hole in the blister to drain it.  They also checked out the surgery “wound” to make sure there was no problem there either.  A few minutes later the nurse came back and put on new dressings and said someone would be right in with the discharge papers.  About 20 minutes later the nurse returned and seemed surprised we were still there then she left to get the discharge papers. 

Finally, after about 4 hours after we got there we left the hospital emergency room.  I guess I don’t know how many other patients were in there but it sure seemed to go very slow for us, especially when it took less than 10 minutes of the doctor’s time.  But we were glad to hear the blister had no connection with the surgery and more important, it wasn’t an infection. 

So once again it was a long day, the reunion starting in the late morning and most of the afternoon and the emergency room to fill out the rest of the day.  But like I said, glad it was nothing bad.  The next thing is to have the stiches removed on the 8th.  Here’s hoping there are no more issued we have to deal with. 

We started writing our blog this morning but stopped to go over to my aunt Lila’s house this afternoon.  She had invited folks from the reunion over to visit the next day and help eat some of the leftovers too.  We got over there a bit late but were still in time to eat and have dessert too.  We sure had a good visit, my brother Craig and his wife Alicia were there and planned on starting their drive home after the visit.  One of my cousins from St. Louis, Peggy and her husband Mike were there along with Lila’s son Kevin and his wife Nancy.  We had another great visit, sure good to see these folks, maybe we will be doing this again sooner than the 19 years it’s been since the last reunion, ha. 

After we left Lila’s house we met up with Susy, Katie and Yami, who had spent most of the day shopping one of the malls around here, for dinner.   After a quick stop at a nearby Wal-Mart we headed back to our rig and they went back to their hotel rooms. 

So here we are, trying to finish our blog and get it posted.  Guess I’ll go through the pictures and add some.  I got a disk with pictures from the reunion from cousin Karla but don’t think I’ll go through it right now to add pictures taken by others but get this posted soon. 

The weather has moderated a bit, the highs are only getting into the low 90s but the humidity has fallen to a much more comfortable level.  The lows have been in the low 60s, its funny to see some folks bundled up like it’s winter in the morning and others, like me, wearing shorts and Tee shirts. 

We still aren’t sure of our travel plans when we leave here, heck, we aren’t even sure when we will leave here.  But we are thinking about going to the UP (upper Michigan) area as we’ve never visited that area.  Of course, we don’t have reservations but I can check on available RV sites in the area.  After that, who knows but I’m sure of one thing, we will try to enjoy ourselves where ever we may go.  It’s a tough life!!

Our friends, Dave and Sandy, invited us to their house for dinner the day we got here. 


That bump in the middle of Lorraine’s foot is the cyst we’ve been trying to get removed. 


Kaitlyn playing with her MY LITTLE PONY stuff.  That’s just the ones she brought with her on the trip.

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My older brother, Steve, on the left, younger brother, Brad, on the right. 

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Brad’s GF on the left, my sister, Corliss on the right.  Corliss’s daughter, my niece, Samantha on the right.  Today is Samantha’s 18th birthday. 

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At the reunion.  That’s a picture of my great grandmother on the left.  Katie and Susy.

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Susy’s friend from Florida and our second (or third) daughter, Yami on the left. 

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Katie flying her kite. 

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My aunt and uncles on the left.  Some of my brothers and only sister on right. 

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Some of our kids on the left, grand kids on the right. 

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A picture of the North clan on the left, Zimmerman cousins on the right. 

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That’s part of the family “tree on the right.

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Thanks   Chuck



Saturday, June 22, 2013

We’re in Morton, MN


June 22, 2013                                                                                                                     Lorraine’s report

Hello from Jackpot Junction Casino in Morton, Minnesota.  Well, we moved on into Minnesota, and man oh man did we have a really big thunder, lightening and rain storm last night.  It was really pretty amazing to watch the entire sky, all around us going off with all the lightening.  The Doppler radar showed Red all over us, it went on for what seemed like hours. After all of that, then the rain started.  Not sure how much it rained, but it was a fair amount.  It's a bit soggy in front of the coach this morning, Chuck said it rained all night.  And it is so muggy here, too.  I'm happy we came all this way and have managed to stay out of the big storm's way.  The people here must sure he used to all this crazy weather.  They seem to take it all in stride. 

Sunday we will move on into Mystic Lake, the Shakopee Sioux RV campground where we will stay during the reunion.  We have taken our time getting here. 

We have seen so much this trip.  We have seen the Grand Canyon, the Trail of Tears in OK, the Painted Dessert and the Petrified Forest.  We spent time in Albuquerque, NM since Chuck wanted to do that.  We went to Dwight D. Eisenhower's Library, saw the Dala Horses, and Coronado's winter dwellings.  We saw the Kearney Arch in Kearney, NB; the Flint works in OK where the guide did the bow and arrow shots, flint napping and the dug out homes there. We got to visit with good friends, Dan & Wanda Jackson in OK.; it was so nice to see them.  

It has been fun to see and do so much! 

I would like to thank my sister Thelma, for her prayers for such a safe journey.  It was really appreciated, especially through OK, that could have gone differently had we been there a week earlier. 

So the last time we wrote, we left the next day, on a Sunday.  We went into Sloan, Iowa.  We got there and they don’t have any water at the site.  We had to go to security and fill up with water. By the time we were finished, we had lost several hours getting water.  They didn't say they didn't have any water on the sites, only power, no sewer.  We could have filled up with water before we left, had we known that before hand. 

Monday found us going through that town and out to the Lewis & Clark State Park where we found the Keel Boats they used on the rivers.  From there we went to Sioux City, Iowa and toured that town.  We stopped at a river boat casino and enjoyed ourselves.

From there we took off the next day and drove into Larchwood, Iowa, to another casino, the Grand Falls Casino.  They had full hookups, water, sewer and power.  This was a good casino, we both took money out and the food was good, with $4.00 breakfast buffets. 

Wednesday we took off in the car again, this time to get our motor home and car license tags  We proceeded to get that, but after a bit of running around.  Found out we can get it from a kiosk in a mall in Sioux City. Who knew.

We also found a walk in clinic; my left foot that I had aspirated a few weeks ago didn't take and I now need to see another surgeon or some other doctor to take it off.  This was the second time I've been to a doctor on this part of the trip.  Will have to get it taken care of here soon, it hurts all the time now. 

Friday found us moving on down the road into Morton, MN.  This RV park is in back of the main casino; we didn't know that they had a nice, new, big campground farther back.  But the spaces in the new section were all reserved, so we are right behind the main casino.  We went into the casino, but it was so full of people.  I didn't do that well, so we came home and enjoyed a quiet evening home.

Sunday we will move again, but this time into the Shakopee Sioux Casino;  that is why we are writing tonight. 

I want to wish Rick, my son, a very Happy Birthday on the 27th.  That is the day that Susy and Kaitlyn come out to the family reunion.  Wish you could be here too.  So that's it for me.  Until next time...




6/22/13                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

Rick, wish you a Happy Birthday on Thursday, hope you have a good time.  Too bad you are unable to meet with us for the family reunion next weekend, that would have been nice. 

We are back in Minnesota, we have been here in 2008, 2010 and again last year.  Every time we’ve been in Minnesota we’ve been evacuated to the storm shelter at least once during our stay due to thunderstorms. 

Yesterday there were thunderstorm warnings in our area with forecasts of heavy rain, lightening and possible golf sized hail and of course winds, only these were straight winds, not tornados.  Security came by and told us about heavy lightening but we were watching the weather on TV and on the computer and it didn’t look that bad where we were so we just pulled in the slides and kept a close eye on things.  I have seen and experienced a few lightening storms but nothing like this one, there was sheet lightening all around us for hours.  The TV had some sort of lightening track counter and it was showing over 800 strikes per hour.

Luckily, all we got was heavy winds, lightening and thunder and lots of rain.  We finally went to bed but the storms kept coming most of the night but at least our weather radio didn’t go off with any new warnings after about 10 pm.  Forecast for the next couple of days is for 30% chance of thunderstorms, hope we get the 70% instead.  So far today all we’ve seen is clouds, no winds, lightening or rain today. 

Last week we wrote our blog on Saturday due to our travel plans on Sunday.  Well, here we go again, we are planning on traveling tomorrow so we are writing our blog on Saturday once again.  I think we are less than 100 miles from our planned stop at Mystic Lake RV Park in Prior Lake, MN. so it should be a short travel day once again. 

Last week we were planning on staying somewhere around Omaha, NE. or Council Bluffs, Iowa but the College Baseball World Series was going on and I couldn’t find any available sites except at a casino in Council Bluffs.  But they wanted $79/night because of the World Series.  We like to stay at Passport America and casino RV parks but usually they are in the $20/night range.  I don’t think we’ve ever paid $79/night except for very special places, for sure never at a casino where they hope to get some money from you for gambling too. 

So we continued on to a casino, Winnavegas, that we’ve stayed at before in Sloan, Iowa.  I had forgotten they didn’t have water at each site, just electric and our water tank was almost empty.  I had some issues finding a water spicket and finally had to pull up right next to the casino to get a hose hooked up.  Last time we were there, a truck pulled in right alongside of us with a refrigeration unit running, not hooked to anything, just parked.  I asked the truck driver if she would mind moving to a different spot and she was very uncooperative so we moved instead.  This time we saw where they had a truck parking lot so no trucks were in the RV spots, yea. 

Next morning we decided to do some touring of the local area.  We went to Lewis and Clark State Park, they had a keel boat info area but unfortunately, it was closed and there was only one of the four boats at the dock.  But it was a very nice State Park and it was on a large lake too.  We then drove into Sioux City and checked it out too.  Sure are lots of corn fields in the area!

Tuesday we left after dumping our holding tanks and drove into Larchwood, Iowa where we stayed at another casino, Grand Falls.  When we stopped and got out of the rig, I saw where we had lube oil all over the passenger front tire and rim, shoot.  It looked like we had blown a seal again, we had a similar problem in California back in ‘09 and had to have the seal replaced on both front hubs, luckily it was covered by warranty from Spartan that time but this time we are way out of warranty so any repair will be on our dime.   

I pulled off the front hub cap and it was immediately apparent what the problem was.  The hubs have an oil bath on them and the outside is a plastic view piece to check the level with a plastic plug in the middle of the view piece.  Well, the plastic plug had come out and we were leaking oil as we traveled.  I didn’t have any oil to refill it but the repair should be simple once I got some, refill the oil to the proper level and reinstall the plug.  Usually we don’t get away with the easy repairs, glad this one was no problem.

We went into the casino to register and pay for our site and of course had to try the slots too.  We also tried out their buffet for dinner that evening too. 

Next morning we headed into Sioux Falls, SD. where we hoped to get new license tabs for our coach and car.  But when we got to the City Hall they informed us we could only get our tabs in person in the county where we are registered, in this case that was across the state.  We told her we would just handle it via mail until she told us there were two places in town that had machines where we could get our new registrations and tabs.  We found one inside a grocery store and I must say it was one of the easiest updates we’ve ever experienced.  I think all states should go this route, we had everything finished in less than 10 minutes, new registrations and tabs in hand and paid for.  

After that, we headed over to a urgent care place to see if we could get a doctor to help Lorraine with the cyst she has on her foot.  She had it aspirated when we were in California back in May but they didn’t take out the sack and it just grew back and was bothering her again.  We stopped at a doctor in Oklahoma and they wouldn’t do it so we were hoping to have better luck here.  But after filing out all the paperwork and talking with the doctor, they wouldn’t do anything either, said she should see a surgeon vs a family doctor.   Guess we’ll try to find one while we are in Prior Lake for our next stop. 

Lorraine was having good luck at the casino where we were staying so Thursday morning after we ate at their morning buffet, I left her there while I headed out to find some lube oil for our front hub I mentioned earlier.  I found an auto parts store that had a bottle with a spout, just what I needed.  After taking care of the lube oil problem, I washed the bugs off the front of the coach and cleaned up the lube oil mess.  I then went back to the casino to get Lorraine and played some slots myself. 

They had a deal going on where they gave you coupons for a drawing depending on how much you had played that day.  Seeing as how Lorraine had been there most of the morning, she had a few coupons for the drawing but she never got her name drawn, shoot.  The minimum prize would have been $150 in free play, the max would have been $1000 free play.  But even though she didn’t get to play the game, we both won some money on the slots so it wasn’t all bad . 

Friday morning we had breakfast at their buffet once again, then left Larchwood and headed here to Morton.  We were only a few miles from both South Dakota and Minnesota so it wasn’t too long until we saw the “Welcome to –" for both state signs along the way.  We had a pretty strong wind hitting us from the side for most of our drive, enough that we had to slow down.  We also ran into a couple of places where maintenance crews had the road closed we wanted, luckily our GPS didn’t fail us and we made it without any problems. 

After getting set up, we checked out the casino and while we were eating at the diner we saw our neighbors come in.  They told us the security folks had just came by and suggested everyone leave their rig and head for the casino due to thunderstorm warnings with lots of lightening.  Seeing as how we had left our dog in the coach, I decided to head out and check out what was happening.  As it turns out, all we experienced was a bit of wind with the lightening, no big problem.  That is, until later that evening like I previously mentioned. 

We’ve been in a couple of thunderstorms on this trip while we’ve been in the middle of the country.  We pulled in our slides a couple of times, just in case but so far we haven’t had any big ones and no tornados either.  But there have been big storms either ahead of us, where we were planning on going, or behind us, where we had been.  Hope we can keep up that kind of luck, don’t need any big storms around us. 

The temperatures haven’t been getting as warm as we travel North.  The highs have been in the mid 80s, low 90s during the day and cooling off to the low 60s at night.  It does feel hotter though because of the high humidity in the area.  I’m glad we have the air conditioners but when we only have 30 amps we can only run one air so it doesn’t cool off as well during the day. 

Tomorrow we plan to get ready and move on to our next planned stop in Prior Lake.  We will be there at least until after July 4th.  We have the family reunion on my Mother’s side of the family next weekend, our daughter, Susy and grand daughter, Katie, will be flying in to spend some time with us and we will be able to visit with our friends, Dave and Sandy, who live in the area.  So we will be busy while we are there, not that we haven’t been busy on our trip up here but a different type of busy and we won’t be traveling every two or three days either. 

Let’s see, since we left California in May we’ve been to 10 states, three of them new to us since we’ve been on the road, been to lots of National parks, state parks, museums of all kinds, seen lots of great country and even met with some old friends we haven’t seen in awhile. We’ve checked out lots of smaller towns and areas in all of these states, still looking for places we may want to settle down when we get off the road.

All in all, we’ve had a great trip, much better than staying in one place in our opinion.  We told ourselves we would try this lifestyle for maybe 5 years and that was almost 6 years ago now and we still have lots of to see and do before we plan on settling down somewhere.  In the meantime, we hope to continue with our travels, seeing/visiting new areas, meeting with old/new friends and enjoying ourselves.  We don’t even have any plans for the rest of the summer or the fall yet, will work on that during the next couple of weeks of down time. 

I’ll add a few pictures but shouldn’t have too many as we haven’t been to many places this week. 


The Archway across the freeway in Kearney as we were leaving town last Sunday. 

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One of the blades for the big wind turbines we see across the US. 


More pictures from the road as we travel. 

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Some sort of art statement on the overpass in Sioux City, Iowa. 

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A very nice State Park we toured. 

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One of the keel boats, the other three were gone the day we were there. 

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A big tree trunk in the park.

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We are in Iowa, across the Missouri river is Nebraska. 

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I’ve never seen them “tent” off the overpass while they were working on it before but saw it twice in Iowa.   

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Grand Falls Casino where we stayed.  They have a RV park with full hookups too. 

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Welcome to Minnesota!   


We are staying at this casino here in Morton at their RV park.


A nice city park in Redwood Falls, MN. 

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Ok, now to get this posted.

Thanks   Chuck