Monday, October 22, 2007

October in Colorado

Cold & snowy

Our new ride!

Oh no, icicles on the new coach!!!

The weather for our first week here was great - until last night. It's been in the 70's, picture perfect - but Colorado weather changes - and fast! Yesterday in Elizabeth it was 78...then about 8:00pm Saturday night, the front hit. The wind picked up to 25+ mph, with gusts in the 30's. Todd has his own weather station on his property, so he can forecast just like the TV stations attempt to. He said Elizabeth was expected to get 4"-8" of snow - and we did. Aren't we supposed to be where it's warm now? OK, tomorrow will be in the 50's, and then we're back up into the 70's for the rest of the week.

Thursday I called a local hitch dealer and got parts on order for our tow set up. Later this week we'll get hardware, tow brakes, and lights installed on the Jeep, so when we make our get-away sometime after Thanksgiving, Donna and Abbey will be able to actually be in the coach with me. Todd, Donna, and I took the hard top off of the Jeep, in order to get the soft top out (Jeep installed them both together for shipping purposes). We actually did OK getting the hard top off and back on.

Victoria & Donna at the shower

Donna took Victoria to her wedding shower this morning - in the middle of the snowstorm. The Jeep did fine, but it was a little scary for Donna, as she usually isn't a snow driver. By the time the shower was over, the storm was too, so their drive back was a lot easier.

I have several projects to keep me busy while we're here: 1) put in a permanent 50amp RV service (I have a temporary installed right now); 2) make shelves in at least 3 cabinets; 3) clean out the shed here and get my "stuff" organized; 4) sell more "stuff" out of our storage in Castle Rock; and , 5) clean out the basement of the rig, removing anything we're not using, and adding things we think we need. We've sold some furniture from storage, which is giving us more room in our storage unit - it's still full, but at least it's not piled all the way to the ceiling any more! We have a goal to get into a smaller unit as soon as possible.

Is it a coincidence? We get back to Colorado, the Rockies win the NL pennant, and the Broncos break their losing streak. When we first moved to Colorado in 1996, the Rockies won their division, and the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls a few years later...we'll see, it would be nice to see the Rocks win the World Series, and we'd love to watch the Broncos in the Super Bowl (from our winter place in Florida!).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to Colorado (Again!)

After all of my rantings about not having Donna drive behind the new rig, we ended up having her do just that. Costs to ship the truck back to Colorado, or to set it up as a tow vehicle, were just too high. Besides that, with our walkie-talkies, I was able to get instant feedback on my driving. Driving a big Class A motorhome isn't that hard once you get the hang of it - the hardest part is getting yourself centered in the lane. I found that my tendency was to drive the rig close to the right shoulder, rather than being centered. Donna was able to critique me, and I finally got it figured out.

Our travel plan was to drive about 200 miles a day. We ended up just east of Portland on our first day. The weather was drizzly, so we elected for a quick BBQ (steaks of course!) between showers, and an early sleep. The second day was gorgeous, as we drove through the picturesque Columbia Gorge.

There we are - stuck on I-84

Looking east at the parking lot

The second night we ended up in Pendleton, OR. Now, what could that city be named for? Hmmm, as a hint, we took the 3:00pm tour at a wool was a 20 minute tour, but very interesting. Pendleton is an interesting little town, and we'll take some time and explore the area next time through. So Day 3 we headed east on I-84, for a 200 mile jaunt to Caldwell, ID. We were on the road at 8:00am, and figured to be there by noon at the latest. WRONG. As we headed up a grade, the weather, which had be drizzly, turned very very foggy: 30mph foggy. Finally, after reaching the summit of some unnamed mountain, the fog began to lift, and we sped up again...only to stop after about a mile. And I mean stop. The whole interstate was closed eastbound - flashing signboards said "accident ahead". So we parked on the interstate for 2 hours. We finally got in to the Ambassador RV Park about 3:00pm. After a day like that, we opted to stay 2 nights. Besides, Donna had found a great quilt store that she just had to visit again!

Our next journey took us to a little town in SE Idaho called Declo, and a nice RV park, Village of the Trees. Again, we had stayed there on our trip out to Oregon. We met the owner, who was very nice, and remembered us from our last visit.

One of the interesting things about being on the road full time, is that you meet all kinds of interesting people. In addition, you tend to find "lost" friends from your past. If you've read earlier blogs, you might recall we met up with Leroy and Carol, friends from my days back at Southern California Edison. Turns out we had been "following" some other SCE friends, Roger and Ardelle, for several days during this period. We were even staying at the same RV parks...2-3 days apart. Weird! We almost caught up with them, but ended up staying about 2 days behind. When we began our journey last February, we almost crossed paths in Louisiana and Texas. Maybe this winter we'll catch them in Texas, where they winter.

From Declo, we headed east, and ended up in Evanston, WY. From there, we decided to do big travel day (280 miles), and get to our son's house back in Colorado.

Some interesting (at least to me) facts: 1) our Chevy pickup averaged over 28 mpg on the trip back, while the new motorhome averaged 7.5 mpg. The part that gets me is that the tank is so big, you don't have to fill that often - but when you do...yowser! I filled in Odgen, UT, and the next fill was in Cheyenne, WY. I could have gone all the way to Denver from Odgen.

Anyway, we are settled in at our son's now until Thanksgiving. I'm watching the drizzle turn over to snow...SNOW? This had better stop!