"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The end of a long week

Taken from their website - a great place for a great brew

Moving Gabe and Melissa to their new home was a stark reminder of how much stuff we use to own and how glad we are that now all the stuff we own is in one 30ft fifth wheel and truck. We were going to rent a trailer but when we got there and looked at the size I knew if we did that, it would be multiple trips and it is a 4 hour drive one way. They had one of their larger trucks available if we could get it back by morning. Though it would cost significantly more we decided one trip sounded better, so off we went with a large U haul truck. We started at Melissa’s house and by the time we got her stuff into the truck we knew we had made the right choice, these kids have a lot of stuff, and most of it was at Gabe’s. Gabe has quite a few large pieces of furniture from our last house and the rental house he was in is old and getting those pieces out was a challenge. It took more than 6 hours, but the four of us got the truck packed and were lucky we could get the door shut. We didn’t pile things a high as we could have but we didn’t think it would fill up that quickly and I’d say the truck was still 3/4 full. We were exhausted but still had to drive 4 hours and then unload and drive back. We left CR about 3 pm, the drive was uneventful and by 7 pm we were unloading. Luckily unloading always goes faster. We had it all out by 9 pm and were on the road again by 9:30. I brought the camera to take a few photos but because of the time and exhaustion I didn’t even get one photo. I’ll have to do that when we visit. It is really a nice place and perfect for them. As for these old folks, we arrived home around 2 am after dropping off the truck and next time they move they are on their own (at least I say that now).
The beer garden - also from their website
Thursday was a recovery day. We did next to nothing; only ventured out to get groceries. Friday we were supposed to take the trailer to the dealer and get the slides adjusted and then on to the RV park in Amana , Iowa. Next week there is an Excel rally there and we are looking forward to it. Well those plans had a slight change as well. Thursday morning watching the news we found out Dubuque, Iowa where our dealer is had over 12 inches of rain in 24 hours (the final total was 16 in.). The flash flooding was massive. In the afternoon we called the dealer, it took quite awhile to get through. They and been hit hard and the flood water was just feet from there office and they had lost several trailers. Luckily our repairs can wait and we told them we would call next week to see how they were doing. We pray for all the people there that have lost so much, so unexpectedly. Mother Nature has really been taking a toll on so many this year. Some may disagree but I truly believe climate change is upon us.
A great area band - love their logo
We did get the rig down to Amana. The park is really just a big field with hook ups but we knew that. The nice part is this is the first FHU park we have been in all summer so I get to use my own shower, yipeeeeeeee!!!! Once settled we road the bikes into town and down to the Millstream Brewing Company, Iowa’s oldest microbrew. We have been here many times and the beer is great. What we didn’t realize was the RAGBRAI (Iowa bike across the state) was coming through on the way to Coralville for the night. If you don’t know about this event, it is a week long ride of about 500 miles and really is a traveling party of over 10,000 bike riders. The upside for us was that Millstream had the band Dogs on Skis playing in their beer garden. This is a great cover band, so what a way to end a crazy week but with good brew and good music. Ahhhh.......
The group from their website
Happy Trails...........................

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Moving week

Just a short post. This is the big week to move our son and his girlfriend Melissa to their new home. They closed on their home on Monday. We have all been busy getting them packed. Gabe took a lot of our furniture etc, when we sold our home so he has more stuff than the average 25 year old. We have a trailer rented, might take multiple trips but we will get the basics up there to get them started. Tomorrow we will see how many more trips it might take. Suppose to have isolated showers so can't put any furniture in the back of the truck (50% chance).

Friday we need to take the 5th wheel to Dubuque to our dealer to have the slides adjusted and then we will be moving to Amana, Iowa for a rally with a 6 state group of Excel owners, We are looking forward to that. On Tuesday I will have to drive back to Cedar Rapids to give the final exam for my class. Hard to believe it is almost over but I am ready. It is definitely time to move on. We are working on those plans too, will share that plan with you soon.

Happy Trails............

Monday, July 18, 2011

Midwesterners and the weather

Having grown up in Minnesota and Iowa, if there is one thing I know, we are never happy with the weather. It is either too hot, too cold, too rainy, to dry, too much sun, too overcast. You name it we can complain about it. The old joke is "if you don't like the weather just wait a minute". We get a little bit of everything.

We have been back in Iowa since late April. Spring was cold and rainy and we all wondered if summer would ever get here, well it did, with a vengeance. The midwest is sweltering along with much of the country. The lush green lawns are now turning a little brown. So now we hear the common "is it hot enough for you?" I'm not sure exactly what that means, but yea it is plenty hot enough for me but it is summer and I can remember plenty of other summers when it got this hot. When the kids were little we lived in a house that only had a window air that would cool down our living room. We had plenty of shade protecting that house but if we got a stretch of 90+ days it would get hot enough for us to retreat to our 1 air conditioned room. I do remember getting creative with places to go to get out of the heat. We would go to the pool, the library, the mall, anywhere to escape the heat in the middle of the day. But you know we lived through it and the cool weather always returned.

Today we had to move from one park to another, our 14 consecutive days were up. By the time we hitched up, moved and set up we were pretty sweaty. The good news---we have a well insulated air conditioned little house on wheels and we don't have metered electric. Spent the afternoon and evening inside. I think there are going to be a few more days like that before the heat breaks. Here's hoping you all stay cooooool.

Happy trails.......................

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Block

Local of wild turkeys!

The little ones make it across the road safely
We all get it sometime and for me this summer has been hard to blog. We are doing plenty of things and staying busy but I think because it is such familiar surroundings I just can’t get up for writing the blog. The last week we were at Squaw Creek campground it was finally dry enough to take a hike. It has a lot of wet lands so this spring the trails were very wet and so no hikes. The trails here are beautiful so it was nice to get out. We also had a group of visitors, in the form of native wildlife close to our site. Thought I’d share a few photos from that.  

the berries are ripening!
We are getting all our doctor, dentist and eye appointments in, since we don’t know when we will get back this way. I am having a little trouble with the transition from far to near so gave in and got a pair of progressive lens glasses. I had lasix surgery done over 15 years ago to correct a severe nearsidedness so I hated to think of going back to glasses but at least now I don’t have to wear coke bottle lenses and can have my pick of frames. I don’t need them for most things but there are times I know I will use them, particularly when we work at Amazon this winter.

We are also getting ready to move Gabe and Melissa to their new home. Rented a trailer today for that week. We may have to make multiple trips to get all there stuff there. Gabe has a lot of furniture he inherited from us when we liquidated the house. Mitch has some too but knowing he may be in apartments for awhile he didn’t want as much. Even in Cedar Rapids Gabe lived in a good size house that he rented with friends. Mitch is going to stay in that house until he finds a job. Luckily Gabe’s landlord really likes him and approved the situation without making him sign a formal lease. It let’s him go month to month until he is ready for a move to where ever.

The start of the trail.
So life is busy. My class is almost 3/4 done. I have a weekend of grading papers and case studies.  As much as I like teaching I will be ready to be done when the time comes. So I will sign off for the time being. Maybe something exciting will happen and put me back in the blogging frame of mind, :)

Happy Trails....................

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

America the beautiful, Kolob Canyon UT

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy 4th! I found this quote I thought I'd share.

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. " ~Erma Bombeck

Happy Trails..............

Saturday, July 2, 2011


St. Louis Cardinals new stadium from the Champions Club seating last weekend.

It was another pretty busy week. On Monday I spent the whole day grading a project for my class. After reading 24 projects I was exhausted. Tuesday I gave the midterm and by Wednesday I wasn’t sure my students weren’t feeling too kindly towards me. The midterm has always been a rude awakening for the students, since it’s a lot of material to absorb in such a short time. I feel for them but every hygienist and dentist knows Oral Path is a tough class. So much material, so little time. 

I worked on the clinic floor on Friday, I really love teaching clinic so it was nice to have a day on the floor. I do miss the interaction with students but I also love the life we’ve chosen and I know how short life (I’ll tell you about that a little later) is so I will be ready by summer’s end to move on. 
Cedar Rapids Kernels Staduim & the Army Reserves Color Guard.

It has been very hot here this week just like it has been in most of the nation. I like to be outside as much as possible but I have to admit it was nice to retreat into the air conditioning  on Thursday and Friday during the day. On Friday we just decided it was time to get out and do something so we chose to go to the Kernels baseball game. They are the A league minor team affiliated with the LA Angels. There is just something about summer and baseball that go together. There was suppose to an exhibition by an Army parachute team before the game but the winds picked up and they were unable to jump due to safety. The young man who sat next to us was a local fella who was in the Army, a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief. He looked so young to be taking on so much responsibility. We visited quite a bit during the game, he shared about his deployment in Europe and his view of many different countries. John bought him a beer and we thanked him for his service. He is soon to be deployed to Afghanistan and we wished him safe travels and a safe return. I hope these wars will soon wind down and these young men and women can come home and out of harms way. As the fourth of July comes closer it reminds me how we need to thank these men and women who give so much for our country.
John enjoying the Kernels game.

We had a special surprise today. Rick and Carolyn that we met at Zion River Resort stopped by the campground to say hi. They also are from Cedar Rapids and were in the park at a wedding. You may remember we had to leave Zion early due to flooding. At the time Rick and Carolyn had driven back to Iowa for Christmas so others had moved their rig during the flooding. It was such fun to see them and we were able to catch up on some of the other people we had met there. Some of the news was sad, like I said life is short. One of the fellas Dave passed away this spring and they were involved in helping his wife Diane after his passing. Dave was a very nice fella and we were so sad to hear this and our hearts go out to his wife as she adjusts to life without him. Another of the campers had treatment for cancer in St. George but they report that Pam is doing very well and we were happy to hear that. 

After all that rain and flooding it was interesting to hear that now with the heat they are very dry and having trouble with forest fires. What a crazy year. Zion was one of our favorite places in our travels last year and I think there will be a winter that we return there in the future. It is so nice to reconnect with the people we have met on the road. RV people are some of the best kind of people around.

I wish everyone a wonderful Fourth of July!

Happy Trails.................................