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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kids and Critters

Not too much exciting happening here. The wedding plans are coming along and we continue to have time with family and friends. One of the fun things for us is getting to see the children of our niece and nephew. Both niece Autumn and her brother Jordan added children to their families just before we left last summer. So this year they are already approaching the one year mark. Autumn also has an almost 3 year old. Its fun to see them as parents and enjoy these little boys.

John and Corbin

Sleeping Corbin

Kelvin in his very own bike helmet.
We are Squaw Creek this week and it is hot! Seems like most of US is experiencing a real heat wave. My friend Mary in Colorado Springs has been texting photos of the fire there. The heat wave and drought are really having an impact and the wildfires rage on. I know the park we stayed at was evacuated last week. Mary says the are still ok where they are, I sure hope it stays that way. The heat kicked up some storms yesterday, we had the storm warning sirens go off around 5. We had stopped at Slumberland looking at sofas (would like to replace ours), and got herded back to their storm shelter area which is their employee lounge. Heard lots of complaints from others but considering the alternative of being in the trailer during the storm we were ok with it. We did get about 3/4 in of much needed rain.
ground hog
Now for the critters. This has been an active week for local wildlife. The turkeys have been wandering the campground which is pretty normal. Then yesterday we looked out and a ground hog was romping in our fire ring. Now we see him regularly coming in and out of the prairie and today John noticed there is a little one with him sometimes. Out in my walk this morning I had to stop and take a photo with my phone. Coming down the street were two little raccoons. Not sure where mom was but they were just scampering along. 
Two little raccoons, sorry so small taken with my phone
Hope everyone is staying safe from the heat, fires and rains in Florida.
Happy Trails.............................

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sugar Bottom COE Campground

View of the Coralville Reservoir from the tent sites

Now, I know not too many of my fellow travelers spend much time in Iowa but should for some strange reason you end up here in the land of corn and beans, this is a great place to stay. Sugar Bottom is one of six COE campground on the Coralville Reservoir In Eastern Iowa (between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City) and is the largest of the group. There are 12 FHU spots (#300-311) that are very nice. The pads are concrete and have ample shade. We are in spot 303 and our friends are in 304. The rest of the RV sites are electric only. In those 311 sites there also are a handful of tent sites and several great group sites.
Our friends site with FHU
We have really enjoyed our time here. This is a very busy place on the weekends, walked through yesterday and there were no open sites. However even as late as Friday morning there were still spots in the non-reservable loop which surprised me. The majority of the sites are reservable but there is one non-reservable loop near the entrance (has a couple of my favorite sites in it) and then a whole group of sites near the water that are also non reservable.(#156-210). In the FHU sites #306-311 are non-reservable. If its early in the week I think you could find a great spot without a reservation.
My favorite sites in the non-reservable electric only loop, #46-50
My favorite reservable electric sites #1-15
This is a big area for water sports so on the weekend there will be lots of boats and lots of kids. There is a boat launch right off the campground and a beach for swimming too. The day use area has another beach, picnic areas, an 18 hole disc golf course and mountain bike trails. Being situated between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City makes for a very busy spot but convenient to shopping (North Liberty is just 5 miles away) and entertainment.
Gayle and John Morgan

Camping with our friends Gayle and John has been great. We have had several happy hours (one lasted until 11pm) and shared lots of laughs. We are hoping to do this again next year. We might have to plan it in the fall or spring  but thats what’s great about the RV life, it is pretty flexible.

The other thing we are exploring now is work camping possibilities for both this winter and next summer. We have applied for a spot near San Diego but we know that is a busy spot and may not have an opening for us this year so we are also going to apply in Oregon. Their website mentioned that sometimes there are openings in the winter. We will be in the NW in the fall and though this is not the south it is the coast and looks like something we would enjoy. I’ll be crusin’ the Workcamper News too. If anyone out there has any other suggestions let us know.  We also are applying for a volunteer position in the Apostle Islands National Seashore near Bayfield WI for next summer. Ideally I would like to have a place to work for 3 mo. in the winter and 3 mo. in the summer leaving spring and fall for traveling but we will see what happens.
Map of the area

Hope all the dads out there are having a great Father’s day. John is just relaxing and hoping to hear from his sons. I didn’t remind the boys this year so we will see if they can handle remembering all on there own, time for mom to take a step away.

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

Friday, June 15, 2012

Man am I fast!

Just a short post but I had an interesting run this morning. I’ve been working on getting to where I can run a 5k (3.1 mi) and I’m almost there. Awhile back I blogged about all the cool tools I have found for my android phone to help me along the way. So today I get my warm up walk out of the way start my GPS and Endomondo tracker and then start my Interval timer. Yep this is all a big production, and then I am off. Its hot and humid but I am slogging along. After my second interval my Endomondo lady says I reached 1 mile in just over 8 min. What????? I don’t think so!! It actually made me laugh. I kept going and after a couple more intervals now it tells me mile 2 was in under 7 min. I am a racing fool! Finally mile 3, its gotta be a record.........uhoh 12 min (probably more acurate). What, I thought I was on track for my all time fastest run. I truly did realize that something was crazy with my GPS or the Endomondo but I was so hoping it would last through the whole run so I could have this written record of my fastest run ever. I will keep that in the history since it still says I did an 8 and under 8 miles, maybe I’ll use those as my motivators. It was so funny and definitely made my run a little more fun today.
I’m working on a blog about the campground we are in now but I’ll save that for later.
Happy Trails................................

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Home???? Part 2

I know I’ve been absent for awhile but being back in Iowa sure makes for busy days and the few days we’ve had to ourselves I just needed to be lazy. So what have we been up to? So far we have:
Gone to a retirement party,

attended a house warming party,
We helped Brenna celebrate her new home.

had a visit from friend Mary (the one we visited in Colorado Springs),
Janie, Trudy and Mary together again!

went to Melissa’s dress fitting,
A bride in the making

watched my nephew’s Triathalon,
Jordan the triathelete, love the helmet!

went to a Memorial Day get together,

helped Mike and Trudy get their 5th wheel ready for vacation,
John and Mike, hard at work

went to a couple ball games,
Go Kernels!

took Mitch out for his birthday,

doctor appointments,

dental appointments,

and finally, moved to Sugar Bottom Campground on the Coralville reservoir to spend 10 camping with our friends Gayle and John.

Whew, now I’m tired just looking back!
In the first days we arrived, like I mentioned previously in the blog it is a little like coming home. The streets are familiar, we don’t have to “find” the grocery store, our favorite restaurants are here, things are easy. On the other hand, as the days have gone by we find ourselves realizing that we really don’t belong here. Its just a funny feeling that where we really belong is “out there” on the road at all those campgrounds, RV parks and places we have yet to find. The only time we really feel at home is in the campgrounds and that is where we love to be. Since this is our second year out on the road perhaps that is why that feeling is so strong this year. We love seeing our family and friends and it is great to visit but it will be great to leave and get on the road again where we belong.
Speaking of getting on the road again, this year we are headed to the Northwest with a stop in the Black Hills and Custer State Park. Our destination is Bellingham, Washington to visit John’s brother. I think we will take I-90 most of the way but when we get to Spokane we are going to take US-2 and Route 20 through the Northern Cascade National Park. If any of you have any suggestions of places to stay along the way or sites to see I hope you’ll share them with us. We are going to be at Custer State Park August 8-15th, after that it just depends on where we find we want to stay. I may need to make reservations for at least Labor Day weekend and maybe for most of those last weeks of August as that is such a busy time in campgrounds. 
I hope you all are having a wonderful summer, I have been remiss is reading blogs lately too but I hope to catch up on everyone’s adventures soon.
Happy Trails....................................