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.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hello from Salt Lake City, UT

Hello from Salt Lake City, UT

Saturday afternoon,  July 19, 2014   (First post of this travelogue)

We are in Salt Lake for Pat’s Stampin’ Up! convention.   We were able to get reservations at the Marriott (Downtown) again this year.  This hotel is right across the street from the convention center.  We got a corner room, conveniently overlooking construction of a new building {grin}.

We left Evergreen Tuesday (7/15) and stayed in Green River, UT (our normal stop).  Wednesday we arrived in Salt Lake in the early afternoon and Pat started her meetings that night.

There are about 4,000 SU demonstrators here this year.  In years past there were as many as 7,000 demonstrators and they had to have two sessions of the convention.

I have been holed up in the room quite a bit working on a computer project for our Eagles club.  I have spent lots of time learning database management, software program code modification and all those fun things.  It is a fun challenge, but I have spent way too much time of the project (probably 300 hours over the past several weeks). 

Today was the last day of the convention.  Pat has been going almost non-stop.  The last meeting just got out and there is a huge line waiting for the elevator.  As I draft this, I am stuck in the lobby until the crowd clears.  I had to come down here when they cleaned the room – I knew the timing was terrible.

Yesterday, I drove up to Hooper, UT (about 35 miles north) to visit with a good friend.  It is always good to see Kent and talk about buses and cars.

Tonight we have tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance.  This will be the third time that we have seen them and it has been an amazing performance in the past.

Tomorrow we will start home.  We are changing our route so that we can stop in Gunnison to visit our two grandsons who go to college there.

That is all of now.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July from Dillon, CO -- Part two

Happy Fourth of July from Dillon, CO -- Part two

Friday afternoon,  July 4, 2014   (second post of this travelogue)

One day we took a guided tour of the reservoir on a pontoon boat.  The guide was a volunteer of the Summit Historical Society (left in photo).  The boat “captain” is left of Pat in the photo.  The tour focused on the history of  the dam.  The captain took us around an island that had nesting Bald Eagles.  An amazing tour.


We spent the better part of a day in Keystone.  It is a really neat little town that looks a bit like a European mountain village.  The best activity was riding the ski lift up to the top of the main ski area.

The first photo is going up and the second is going down.  It was a beautiful day for the trip.

This is the view of Dillon Reservoir (link to website) from the top of the ski area.  The elevation at the top was 11,640 feet.  The Dillon Dam crest is 9035 feet.  The maximum designed level of the water is 9025 (opening of what is called the “Glory Hole” that controls the maximum leve)l.  When we first got here the lake was a few feet below the Glory Hole.  The water is now fairly close to the rim.  A few additional Dillon Reservoir facts:  The surface area is a bit over 3200 acres (when full) and the height of the dam is 231 feet.  It is owned by the Denver Water Board and was built in the ‘60s.  The water is diverted from this western slope location to the east slope via the Roberts tunnel which is over 23 miles long and 10 feet in diameter.  Both the dam and the tunnel recently celebrated their 50 year anniversary. 

While at the top of the Keystone ski area, Damon and Molly made a tube run on this hill.  The picture is deceiving.  Right after I took this picture, they disappeared over the hill and dropped a few hundred feet!  Nothing like snow tubing in July!!  Damon also went snow skiing at Arapahoe Basin on the last day it was open (6/22 – second day of summer)!!

That is all for now.