Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hello from Goddard, KS

Hello from Goddard, KS

Sunday evening September 20, 2009 (First travelogue of this trip)

We are at the Express Inn in Goddard, KS (map). For the past couple of days we attended the Eagle International bus rally at Afton Lake.

We left Evergreen Wednesday (9/16) in the late afternoon. We had debated about even attending this rally, since our bus is still not running. It is not nearly as much fun at these rallies when you have to commute from a motel to the rally. The bus is a place to relax and makes it convenient at the rally. Not so when you are staying several miles from the rally site.

We stayed Wednesday evening in La Junta at a Holiday Inn Express (not one of the better ones). Thursday we drove about 350 miles to Goddard. We took US 50 most of the way. It is an interesting drive, since you drive through several small towns. Most are small farming communities. Many look like they are not doing well economically.

Once we got into Kansas, it seemed like every small town had huge grain silos and giant feedlots. We normally travel on the interstates, since we are usually on a tight schedule. However, we found the drive on the two lane highway to be interesting and enjoyable.

We arrived in Goddard late in the afternoon. We quickly checked in and unloaded the luggage and then drove to the rally for the group dinner.

Friday, the guys went to the Boeing Surplus Center and then to “The Yard” ( Both are “candy stores” for “overage kids”. At the Boeing store, I stalked up on a large number of very high quality drill bits at $2.50 per pound!! The Yard has to be seen to be believed! They have a tremendous amount of surplus aluminum and nuts and bolts, plus all sorts of specialized tools.

Saturday we went with most of the group to the Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson, KS ( This is a tour of an active salt mine and the tour takes place 650 feet below ground level. It was very interesting. That night we had another group dinner.

Today we went back out the to rally site and said our goodbyes as the folks pulled out in their great Eagle buses.

Tomorrow we head to Shawnee, OK where we will be vendors at the regional FMCA rally.

That is all for now.

Eagle Bus Conversion Rally at Afton Lake

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello from Evergreen, CO

Hello from Evergreen, CO

Tuesday morning September 8, 2009 (fourth travelogue of this trip)

Well, obviously we are home. I left out a couple of things in earlier posts for this trip. On the way out to Salt Lake we started seeing smoke in the Dillon, CO area. That is really scary, as that area has been devastated by pine bark beetle and well over half the lodge pole pines have been killed and are very dry. It turns out that it was from the huge fires in California and to a lesser degree ,some fires in Utah. When we stopped in Green River, UT the smoke was pretty thick. After that we did not notice it as much, even though the fires were still going strong. Perhaps it was the fact that we were further north coupled with the wind direction.

I had mentioned that I would show a picture of the SilverLeaf Glass Dash. It is the ultimate upgrade for those who want to know what is happening with their engine and related components.

I finished the installation a bit after noon on Saturday. I made a quick trip up to visit another bus nut in Ogden and then got back to the hotel in the late afternoon. As mentioned in the last post, we went to the Cheesecake Factory for our anniversary celebration dinner. We have learned to split an entree and then each order a piece of cheesecake. Even then, we took about half of each piece of cheesecake home with us.

I have to talk about our hotel in Salt Lake (the Airport Inn). As I noted last time, we stayed there a few weeks ago. While it was definitely not fancy, it seemed like we could live with it for a few days. Our room was very strange. It actually surrounded the elevator on three sides! It was quite large. The carpet needed to be replaced, but the rest was just fine. It seemed clean enough and that is really what we want. It was located right across from several FBOs (locations that service and store small planes). We took walks most every night and had fun watching planes take off and looking at the small planes.

Sunday we headed towards home. We took I 80 up the hill out of Salt Lake and then took US 40. I wanted to take the two lane home, as it can be more picturesque. That night we stayed at a great Best Western in Craig, CO. Monday we left US 40 at Kremmling and headed towards Dillon, CO. There we stayed with our daughter and here family in their townhouse. This morning we left Dillon early and drove home.

We will be home for a bit less than two weeks and then head out again. Unfortunately not with the bus. We are still very undecided what we will do for an engine. After the next trip, we will stay home until we get the bus back on the road.

Thats all for this trip.

SilverLeaf Glass Dash

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hello from Salt Lake, UT

Saturday morning September 5, 2009 (third travelogue of this trip)

I am writing this on our 45th wedding anniversary. Boy how time flies!!!

We are at the Airport Inn right at the Salt Lake airport (map). We stayed here when we were in Salt Lake a few weeks ago. It is a moderate hotel that is sufficient for this trip. We have a fridge and micro wave and a large room – all for less than $60. That includes a cooked breakfast!

We arrived here Tuesday (9/1). I have been working on an installation of my system for the past three days. I did not quite get finished yesterday, so I will have to spend a couple of hours this morning. The installation has gone well, but it is more complicated than most because of some options that we installed. The folks that own the coach are quite handy and have been helping out doing some of the work. That has really worked well. They are great folks who are full timers (live in their coach full time) and take great pride in their “home”. It is a 1997 Newmar Mountain Air that they have kept in immaculate condition.

Later today I hope to visit a friend in Ogden and then Pat and I will be going the the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate our anniversary.

Have to keep it short so that I can get to work {grin}

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hello from Green River, UT

Tuesday morning September 1, 2009 (second travelogue of this trip)

I am combining two trips. As noted in our last blog, we were in Douglas WY last week for a double install (my system and a SilverLeaf glass dash install). This week we are headed to Salt Lake for an install of my system in a motorhome.

The two installs last week went well. The SilverLeaf install was pretty straight forward. A SilverLeaf technician flew in and did most of the installation. I helped were I could but it was primarily a training session for me. I will try to post a picture of the dash in the next blog. My installation involves a great deal of work under the coach to run tubing and wires. It was a real challenge for this installation, as we could not get the coach very high due to soft soil. Worse, the soft soil was covered with very sharp gravel and that really made crawling around an issue and I ended up with a lot of scrapes on my back.

We did not get to do any sight seeing in Douglas. It is a very small town. The folks that we did the install for took us out to dinner several times and that was a lot of fun. The wife spent a lot of time with Pat doing stamping and just generally having fun. It ended up that she signed up as a demonstrator.

We left Douglas on Saturday 8/29. On the way home we stopped at two of our daughters to have quick visits. On Sunday we went to the third daughter's home and visited with her family. Pat did a stamping party on Sunday and I did a bunch of work to get ready for this trip. Kind of hectic!

We left Evergreen yesterday morning and stopped here in Green River. We are staying at the same Best Western hotel that we stayed at on our trip to Salt Lake last month. We are again driving the service truck. As has been the case for the past month, we are sure missing our bus!

That's all for now.