Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hello from Branson, MO

Hello from Branson, MO

Drafted Tuesday evening,  October 7, 2014   (First post of this travelogue)
Posted Thursday morning 10/9/14

We are at an Eagle Bus rally at the Branson Lakeside RV Park (map)

We left Evergreen on Sunday 9/28 about 9:30 so that we could get to Goodland, Kansas in time to watch the races.  We stayed at the Walmart that we have stopped at several times in the past.  On Monday we drove to El Dorado, KS and again stayed at the Walmart.  

From El Dorado, it was a short 150 mile drive to Nevada, MO where we stayed at…… Walmart.  We arrived early enough to do quite a bit of genealogy/grave decorating.  This is the area where Pat’s grandfather was raised and there are quite a few of his relatives buried in various cemeteries.  We made a large loop up through Butler and down to a cemetery in Virgil City.  That “loop” is about 200 miles.

On Wednesday we drove about 150 miles to Branson.  On the way, we had an issue with the tow dolly and had to unload the car and drive it the last 35 miles or so.

The Eagle rally was well attended.  I think the count was 21 Eagle buses and an assortment of other types of buses and motor homes (maybe 30 units total).

This post is getting old, so I will end it here and update the events in Branson in a couple of days.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hello from Sacramento, CA

Hello from Sacramento, CA

Friday morning,  September 19, 2014   (First post of this travelogue)
Posted: Sunday evening September 21, 2014

As happens too often, I started this post and was not able to finish it till I got home.

I traveled to teach a four day class.  The first two days were bearings and lubrication and the last two days were shaft alignment.  This is a “regional” class which means that it is held in a hotel and the students are from various companies.  I really prefer this type of class (as opposed to an “on-site” class held at a company with their employees attending).  In the public class, you often get better discussion because of the varied backgrounds.

The class is being held at the Holiday Inn Express (here).  The meeting room was very large for our small group (5 students).  That is great, as we have to set up the shaft alignment labs and that takes a fair amount of space.

In the past, the shaft alignment class used rather simple tools (straight edges, calipers, and dial indicators).  When the class had somewhat experienced students, it was difficult to fill the full two days.  We recently added laser alignment equipment and that really makes the class powerful and fun!

For a change, the travel went well.  The flight out was typical, but I had a good seat.  When I went to pick up the rental car they said that the company had reserved a premium car.  That is not the norm, but the lady that does the scheduling had a special offer and gave it to me.  The bad news was they did not have a premium car so I had to “settle” for a Camaro {big grin).  Sure wish I had had an opportunity to “open it up”.  The flight home was about half full and I had a great exit row seat. 

My fun rental car

I arrived in Sacramento early Monday afternoon.  That allowed me to drive the Camaro up to Nevada City to have dinner with a great friend.  It would have been a good route to have some fun, but the traffic did not permit very aggressive driving.

That is all for this trip.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hello from Holyoke, CO

Hello from Holyoke, CO

Monday evening,  August 11, 2014   (Second post of this travelogue)

Holyoke? – there has to be a story about our location.  More later.

Yesterday we left Prescott a bit later than we planned (about 2:00PM) and thus decided to take a more leisurely drive home.  If we drive the car, we usually go straight through (10-12 hours with a few potty and meal stops).  In the bus we drive at 68 MPH (safer and best mileage).  At that speed we take two days.  This time we are breaking it up so that we are taking 3 days.  Last night we stopped in York, NE (at the Wal Mart, of course).  Tonight we are in a gravel lot at a huge grain elevator in Holyoke, CO (map). 

Our route from Prescott was a bit different from our norm.  We decided to avoid all the construction on US 34 (and the possibility of more flat tires) and go north on CR N61 then CR H20 to IA 148.  From there we took IA 92 to I 29.  That is a lot of back roads, but it was a pretty easy drive. 

Holyoke is not on our normal route.  I had planned to stop at the rest area in Julesburg, but we were fairly early and I thought there could be an issue with staying too long (many have a 10 hour limit).  So, at Ogallala, we took the exit to try to find a place to park for the night.  Quickly, the town ended and we were on a two lane with nowhere to turn around.  I decided to continue south and then head west when possible.  The route took us down NE 61 and then on NE/CO 23.  The two lanes were good in some areas and pretty darn rough in others. 

Tomorrow we will travel a short distance on US 6 to Sterling where we will dump the tanks at the rest stop and then head home on our normal route.  This detour was really not all that far out of the way.

It is kind of nice to drive shorter distances.  It is also fun to drive on some of the two lanes and see the small towns.

That is all for now.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hello from Prescott, IA

Hello from Prescott, IA

Sunday morning,  August 10, 2014   (First post of this travelogue)

Sadly, Pat’s aunt Jaris passed away on Monday (8/4) in Corning, IA.  We left Evergreen on Tuesday in the bus and stopped in Kearney, NE for the night. 

Wednesday, as we approached Corning, we encountered road construction on US 34.  It was asphalt grinding – a situation we have encountered many times.  Just before the highway that leads to Corning (Pat’s home town), our tire alarm went off.  We turned towards Corning so that we could stop at her cousin’s tire shop.  By the time we got there, both of the tow dolly tires were sending alarms and both tires were nearly flat.  We unhooked the PT cruiser from the dolly and left the tow dolly at the shop.

Jerry (Pat’s cousin) determined that fairly large slivers of asphalt had punctured both of the tow dolly tires.  Jerry was able to fix them.  I had a mounted spare and an additional un-mounted tire.  I ordered an extra rim and now have two spares (who would guess that both tires would go flat at the same time?).  All the other tires seem to be OK.

On Thursday there were family events related to the funeral.  Friday was the funeral, along with other related activities.  Thursday we had a family dinner at the Hoerman’s (family tradition of beef and noodles) and Friday we had another family dinner at Mona and Terry’s.  Both were great events where lots of family stories got exchanged.

Two of our daughters were able to make the trip.  Lisa flew in with Pat’s cousin Linda and all of Kelly’s family drove back.  Pat’s sister and her friend changed their travel plans for a Minnesota trip and drove to Iowa.  After the funeral they continued on to Minnesota.  Lisa flew back to Denver Saturday and Kelly and her family left Saturday afternoon.  Pat’s friend (since early childhood) Linda came down from Des Moines for the Friday events – it is always great to see her.

After the various activities on Friday we needed some “happy time”.  We went out to a family farm to see some day old piglets - most of the Denver folks got to hold them (see photos).  It does not take much to entertain the city folk {grin}.

Madison and Kelly



We were worried about going to Iowa in August because of the heat and humidity.  We are connected to a normal 20 amp outlet for our power and that is not enough to power an air conditioner.  It turns out that the weather has been rainy and fairly cool.  Aside from the humidity (somewhat damp sheets), the sleeping conditions have been great.  The rain was great for the Iowa folks as it has been dry and they need the moisture for the crops.

We will start home today.

That is all for now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello from Natoma Kansas

Hello from Natoma Kansas

Draft started Saturday morning,  July 26, 2014   (First post of this travelogue)
Completed and published Monday July 28

This has been a bit of a crazy whirlwind trip.  More about that in a minute.

I need to add a note or two about our  trip to Salt Lake.

As we noted, we diverted from a direct route back home from Salt Lake so that we could visit our two grandsons who attend college in Gunnison Colorado. 

We drove from Salt Lake to Grand Junction and stayed the night at a Holiday Inn Express.  Monday we drove to Gunnison and again stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  We were able to have lunch with Austin and then Dinner with Thomas and Klara.  It is so fun to see that these young men have matured so much and are doing well in College (both will be seniors this year).

We arrived home Tuesday.

On Wednesday (7/23) I drove the bus to Natoma, Kansas to stay at a friend’s house.  Natoma is north of Russell and Hays on Kansas highway 18.  Since this was mostly a boy’s trip, Pat stayed home.

The reason for this trip was to attend the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, KS.  The KKOA website is here.  I have been a member since the early ‘80s and have attended this event many times.  Indeed, I completed the ’56 Chevy in ’87 and the whole family drove to Springfield IL for that event.  Pat made poodle skirts and sweaters for her and the girls (see photo).

For many years they held the event in various cities in the mid-west (including three different Springfields – IL, OH, and MO – Pat and I attended them all in the ’56).  I have not driven the ’56 in several years – maybe next year.  They have now settled on holding the event in Salina, KS because it is just about in the center of the country.

The car count dwindled over the years, as have many major car events.  However, the count has picked up in the past couple of years and it appears that there were over 1,000 registrations this year!

The show was great!  Wish I could say the same about the weather.  It was 106 degrees in Salina on Friday when my friend and I attended the show!!  Can you say brutal? 

I had a good time visiting with my friend John.  He has 20 acres with a fairly large percentage filled with out building with all kinds of good stuff in them .  He also has a large number of buses and 50’s era trucks on the property. We visited a one of his friends whose family used to own a GM dealership in a close-by town.  The person has a huge collection of neat old cars, many of which were very low mile trade-ins that the family kept.

I returned to Evergreen on Saturday.  The bus did fine and it was fun not to have a toad behind me.

That is all of now.