Daily Archives: May 15, 2022

Immersive Monet . . .

After coffee this morning, I went outside for a few chores around the rig.

First up was to reseat the wheel covers on the Jeep. On the front two the clips that hold them on just happen to line up with balance weights on the wheels.

And since they weren’t locking down securely, one of them departed the Jeep when we hit a bad pothole. So I came up with a way to redo the clips so they all fasten down completely. Taking us from this –

Jeep Steel Wheels 1

To this

Jeep New Wheel Rear

Much better.

And since the temperatures here are starting to bump up against the 90’s, it’s about time to put the solar screens up on the windshield glass and the front side windows, so I dug them out from the back of the truck and laid them out on the patio. I went ahead and installed the ones on the driver’s window and the door, but I’m thinking about doing something different with the ones on the windshield itself, since I don’t need to put them up and take them like when we’re traveling.

So I’m thinking about it.

Lastly I made new addition to Jan’s Flamboyance. Not another denizen, but just a neat flag from WalMart.

Flamingo Flamboyance

Lunch today was Yummy Yummy’s once again, our favorite Chinese buffet. Really busy since we got there a little after church-getting-out time. But we still were seated immediately, and the food was as delicious as always.

Then it was on up the feeder to HEB before getting home about 2:45.


Last year we did two different Immersive Van Gogh presentations, one in October and one in November.

Immersive Van Gogh

And now, next month on June 30th, we have tickets to see the Immersive Monet & The Impressionists, including Renoir, Degas, and others.

Immersive Monet

What with our two week Alabama vacation, and now this, June is going to be a busy month.

On To The Keys

May 15, 2009

Club Chicken Sandwich . . .

We pulled out of the RV park in Homestead, FL and headed down to Key West about 11:30 am.

This is later than we had thought to leave, but we were waiting for the mail to come at the park office.

Our daughter Brandi had send us a Priority Mail letter on Monday containing a replacement debit card. One of  the two we normally use has lost its magnetic strip and will no longer scan.

It should have been here Wednesday or Thursday, at the latest.  But it still hasn’t shown up.  Since we’ll be passing  back thru Homestead on our way back north, the RV park is going to hold it for us, assuming it ever shows up.

We’ll see.

We arrived here in Key West about 2:3opm and have a waterfront site here at Geiger Key RV Park. We’re about 10 miles from Key West proper.

Here’s a couple of pics of what we see from our site. 


Site View 1

Site View 2

We actually about 5 ft from the water’s edge.

After we had gotten things set up, we headed into Key West to grab a late lunch/early supper.

We decided to try Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Café in downtown Key West. We’d eaten at his sister’s place in Gulf Shores, AL called Lulu’s at Homeport, so we had to try Jimmy’s too.

We were surprised how small the place really is.

Margaritaville Sign

Jan had the Caribbean Club Chicken Sandwich and I had the Caribbean Chicken Salad. We both really liked what we had.

Hopefully we’ll have a chance to go back.


Tomorrow some friends of ours are coming down with their RV from West Palm Beach and will join us for a few days. We really look forward to seeing Charlee again. It’s been a long time.

300 Feet?

May 15, 2010

Elk and Deer, Yes – Whales, No . . .

We started off our last day in Klamath, CA with breakfast at the Klamath River Café just like yesterday.

I had the eggs, bacon, and 3 pancakes. The pancakes were so large that I could only eat one.

After breakfast we stopped by the Post Office to mail off some packages, but since it was Saturday, it was closed. In small towns, apparently, the PO doesn’t open at all on Saturdays.

Then it was on to the Tour-Thru Tree, one of several drive-thru redwood trees in the area. This tree is still alive and still growing.

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I remember driving thru a Sequoia when my family came out west on vacation back in 1964 when I was 15. When I checked it out this time, I found that it had collapsed in 1969 due to heavy snowfall. The only remaining drive-thru trees are now all Redwoods.

Next, heading up the road to the Trees of Mystery place that we had seen the day before, we encountered another of the many of these signs we had seen. What’s kind of scary is that this road is about 300 feet about sea level. I don’t want to be anywhere near here when a 300 foot tsunami come through.

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A few miles down the road we arrived at Trees of Mystery and got parked.

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We bought our tickets and headed up the 1/2 mile trail to the beginning of the Sky Trail gondola ride.

This is the Family Tree, twelve trees growing out of one trunk.

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This tree has a hollowed-out passageway underneath it.

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This is Fallen Giant, a 320 foot tree that fell about 500 years ago.

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More tall trees than you can imagine.

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The Cathedral Tree, a ring of 9 trees, is often used for weddings and other ceremonies.

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This is the Brotherhood Tree, 297 feet tall and 19 feet in diameter.

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After a pretty steep climb, we reached the beginning of the Sky Trail and headed up the side of the mountain.

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Getting to the top, we found a family of chipmunks living underneath the Sky Trail upper terminal. I think this was Jan’s favorite part. They were running everywhere.

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The view from the top was really something.

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Then it was time for the ride back down. I had to search Jan to be sure she wasn’t smuggling any chipmunks back down.

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Starting the trail back down we saw the Towering Inferno, a tree that was stuck by lightning in December 1995. It was originally over 250 feet tall and about 1200 years old. It burned for several days and this husk is all that’s left.

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The bottom part of the trail was thru the Trail of Tall Tales, consisting of large scale carvings telling stories of Paul Bunyan and his friends.

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Back in the parking lot we checked out the large statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

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Funny, but I always thought Babe was a girl.

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Jan’s sure he’s a guy !

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Leaving Trees of Mystery we headed down the road and out to Requa Point to do some whale watching. The brochures said we could see whales off the point here from mid-April thru May.

How many did we see?


But we did find this plaque. When I first read it, I thought the human food they were referring to was US.

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Leaving Requa Point we headed south about 95 miles to drive the Avenue of the Giants. This is a 31 mile stretch of old US 101 that threads thru some really tall trees.

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Next we headed about about 25 miles further south and made the misinformed decision to make the 21 mile drive out to Shelter Cove where we were absolutely, positively guaranteed to see whales. What we didn’t know that this 21 mile drive would be the steepest, twistyest drive we’ve encountered since we drove up Mt Washington in New Hampshire last year. The 21 miles took us almost an hour and a half.

Of course it would all be worth it when we saw the whales.


We saw some beautiful scenery, but nary a whale was in sight.

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And, of course, we still had the 21 mile, hour and a half, drive back.

And then, of course, the 120 mile drive back home.

Coming back from Shelter Cove, we did see a lot of deer feeding along the road.

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Getting into Eureka about 6:30 pm we stopped at a Marie Callender’s for dinner, and a couple of pieces of pie to take home with us.

Coming thru Trinidad, (no, not that one) we encountered what we had seen on a local billboard. The largest herd of Roosevelt Elk in the world crossing the road in front of us.

This YouTube video shows what it looked like.

Finally, about 8:30 pm we got back home after a long day, and over 250 miles.

Tomorrow we travel about 160 miles north to Coos Bay, OR for a couple of days.

The Shady Lady

May 15, 2013

Only in Nevada would you see . . .

a sign like this –

Tonopah Brothel 1b

Or this one.

Tonopah Brothel 2b

And there were several more along the way. Made for a very interesting trip today.

We pulled out of the Las Vegas Thousand Trails just about 9am. Luckily there was enough room so that we could hitch up the toad before we left, so it was just hit the road and go. And since they were parked right next door, we got to say a final goodbye to Jim Dean. We really had a great time getting to know Jim & Peri while we were in Las Vegas, and hopefully we’ll see them down the road sometime.

We had a 215 mile trip today to Tonopah, NV, on our way to South Lake Tahoe for a two week stay at the Tahoe Village RV Resort starting tomorrow.

For the first 70 miles we were on four-laned US95, but after that it dropped down to two-lane, but it was still a good, smooth road.

One thing that was nice was that this was all new territory for us, since we’ve never been this way before. And very quickly we started the long climb from Las Vegas’ 2000 foot elevation to Tonopah’s 6000 feet.

Tonopah Trip 1

Along the way the terrain started to change from desert to high plains, with long rolling hills, punctuated by steep rises.

Tonopah Trip 2

At about the 100 mile mark we stopped for a bathroom break at Amargosa Valley, and that’s where we found the big red “BROTHEL” sign I posted above.

It was also nice to feel it get cooler as we drove north. In Tonopah the high today is supposed to be 80. In comparison, at 1:30am this morning in Las Vegas, it was also 80.

And even better, the low tonight in Tonopah is supposed to 50. Very nice.

We got into the Tonopah Station Casino RV Park about 1:30, and really lucked out. They don’t take reservations; it’s first come, first served. And we got the very last site. 30 amp full hookups for $15.50 a night. Not bad.

Tonopah Casino RV Park

After we got park and setup we both took a nap for a hour or so, and then, before having dinner, we drove around town for a little while, before coming back to the casino for dinner

When I registered for our site, I ask the lady if they were part of the Station Casinos all over Las Vegas. She said no, Tonopah Casino was there first. She said we were a stagecoach station in 1905.

Note to self: When you order The Miner’s Breakfast at the Tonopah Casino Restaurant, and it says it comes with a ham steak, they’re not talking about one of those little dinky slices. They’re talking about a full-size foot-wide slice of ham.

Tonopah Ham Steak Breakfast

Tomorrow we’ve got about 250 miles to South Lake Tahoe, but since we got reservations, we don’t have to leave as early as today, but still early enough to get diesel before we leave Tonopah.

Fun And Family

May 15, 2014

Q: How Can You Tell You’re In Illinois?

A: Fuel Prices Immediately Jump 30 cents a Gallon.

Jan and I headed over to Debbie’s this morning about 8:45, stopping on the way to get gas at the Wal-Mart. The last time I put fuel in the truck at Lake Conroe in TX, it was $3.21 a gallon. Today it was $3.54. When I got diesel in MO the other day, it was $3.62. Around here I’ve seen it as high as $3.99.

Don’t know where the extra taxes are going. They’re certainly not putting it into fixing the roads, that’s for sure.

A while after we got Debbie’s, Jan and I headed out with her to have breakfast at a nearby Mennonite breakfast place. The food was really good, and plenty of it. And they also had a lot of nice baked goods.

I had always thought that the Mennonites were a split-off from the Amish. Kind of Amish-light, so to speak. I have some relatives who are Mennonite, and they look, act, and dress like any Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc. But the Mennonites in this area are like the Amish of Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio. They shun technology, drive buggies, and dress plainly.

As it turns out, the Mennonites came first. Coming out of the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s in Germany and Dutch-speaking countries, they were part of the Anabaptist movement of the time. And, as a matter of fact, the Amish came out of the Mennonite Church, not the other way around. There are about 15 different sects of Mennonites, ranging from ones like my relatives, to ones that shun all modern technology, to various levels in between.

Leaving the restaurant, we stopped off at an Mennonite flower nursery that Jan and Debbie spent some time going through. I, on the other hand, read my Kindle in the car.

Getting back home we spent time talking and napping before heading out to pick up our great-niece Gwen from school and bring her back to Debbie’s for the rest of the afternoon.

But that entailed a stop by the RV park so Debbie and her husband Jim could see the new floor in the rig, and a stop at Wal-Mart for a few things.

After getting back to Debbie’s, we all headed out about 6pm to attend Gwen’s band concert at the local high school. Reminded me a lot of my day’s in high school.

Gwen plays trumpet in the 5th grade band and really likes it. There were 3 different bands playing tonight and they all sounded good.

Gwen Concert 1

Gwen Concert 2

Tomorrow, our last day here, will be another one filled with fun, family, and frolic.

Well, maybe just fun and family.

Hopefully Not A Train

May 15, 2015

Things Are Looking Up . . .

We decided to go out for breakfast this morning, but while we were getting ready, there was a knock at the door. It turned out to be Stan, the service manager here at Affinity RV, with some pretty good news.

After I had questioned some of the items on the original estimate that was submitted to the insurance company, they had come up with a new, cheaper, faster estimate. ‘Cheaper’ in that the estimate has now been cut in half, because the body panels and mirror are now ‘used’ parts from Colaw RV Salvage in Carthage, MO. And ‘faster’ in that the parts should be here this Monday or Tuesday instead of waiting 5 or 6 weeks for new parts to be manufactured. I certainly don’t’ have a problem with ‘used’ body panels, since both the new and used ones will have to be painted anyway.

In fact as it stands now, they plan on moving our rig over to the body shop area on Monday. Actually that only means we’re moving just a couple of spaces to the left to be in that area. So nothing much will change for us. But during the move we’ll dump our black tank at the dump out front rather than having to use the leaky Blue Boy. All right for grey, not so for the black tank.

But it will hopefully mean that we might be out of here in a month or less, but unfortunately, not in time to take the rig to Illinois next week for our family reunion, so we’ll still be going in the truck.

So, really good news to start the day.

For our breakfast, we decided to try Cowgirl in the Kitchen, a nearby breakfast / lunch place.with 4 stars on Yelp. And it was easy to see why.

This was another one of those ‘nondescript’ places that you really have to be looking for to notice.

Cowgirl 0

Like our other recent favorites, BiGA and Speed’s Hanger Deli, it’s a relatively small place with only about a dozen tables.


One thing we both liked was the coffee. You have your choice of regular or dark roast. Jan started with regular to my dark roast. But then after she tasted mine, her refill was also the dark roast. It was that good.

Although we could have ordered lunch, we were still in time to get breakfast so that’s what we did.

Jan got an omelet with all the fixing’s,

Cowgirl 1

while I got the Trails End. The buttermilk pancakes were some of the best I’ve had.

Cowgirl 2

Jan and I agreed that we could probably be happy just alternating between Speed’s Hanger Deli and Cowgirl in the Kitchen the rest of our time here, but then we’d miss out on telling you about all the other great restaurants we find.

So, yeah, we’re doing it just for you.

Leaving Cowgirl’s, we drove over to the PO to drop off some mail. Looking down the road we saw the entrance to the Point of Rocks RV Park, and decided to look the place over.

Point of Rocks RV 1

From the A-Frame design of the office, I suspect this was originally a KOA park. Driving around, it kind of reminded me the Bend-Sunriver Thousand Trails, or the Park of the Sierras near Yosemite National Park.

Many of the sites are cut back into the woods, and are widely separated from the neighbors.

Point of Rocks RV 2

Point of Rocks RV 3

There seems to be a lot  of permanents here, but the place is well kept up and very nice.

Heading back to the rig, we made a CVS stop and then were home for the day.

So it now looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Just hope it’s not a train.

Dumpster Diving

May 15, 2016

Kitty Road Trip . . .

Today was a resting up day for Jan and I. If you want to feel old, try keeping up with a 5 year old. Of course he says he’s almost 6 (in August).

And the scary part is that he was really good, not a problem at all. He’s very good at entertaining himself, so that’s not a problem. And the way he reads and writes as a kindergartener is amazing.

While they were at the pool, Landon was watching as one of the rangers drove in one of the park ATV’s. Landon said, “I keep seeing signs about deer around here. Where are they? I haven’t seen any deer.”

Jan said, “What signs are you talking about, Landon?”

Pointing at the ATV, Landon said, “Right there. I’ve seen a bunch of them here.”

Looking at where he was pointing, Jan laughed and said, “Sweetie, that’s the name of the company that made it. It’s John Deere.”

Landon looked thoughtful for a few seconds and then said, “Oh yeah. I have a toy with that on it. Neat!”

Jan spent part of the morning on the phone with a tag team conversation between her, Brandi, and Chris. They were trying to set up a family get-together next Saturday for Chris’ birthday. Although his birthday is on Thursday, everyone’s off Saturday, so it works better.

Looks like for now, we’re doing a potluck at Brandi’s in Katy. We’ll get Rudy’s BBQ, and then everyone will bring dishes to fill it out the rest of the menu. Looking forward to it.

A little before 4 we headed over to Brett and Frankie O’Neal’s in the ‘G’ section to pick them up for dinner. But on the way, while dropping off a bag of trash I did a little dumpster diving.

Well, really, more like ‘beside the dumpster diving’. And here is what I found lying there.

Found Satellite Dome

It’s a Winegard Carryout Satellite Dome, just like ours, but maybe a little newer. There’s nothing wrong with the outside, and it didn’t rattle alarmingly when I picked it up, so it’s possible nothing is really wrong with it. We’ll see.

A lot of times with these, the real problem is with the power cable, and not the unit itself. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to look at it this week, but Colorado River next week for sure.

I left the dome at Brett’s to have more room in the truck, and then we all headed out for the Texas Roadhouse down in Conroe, where along with really good steaks, we spent a good bit of time talking over their recent visit to one of our old stomping grounds, and a place I grew up, Gulf Shore, AL.

Brett and Frankie 2

Had a great time comparing our favorite places, and our favorite meals. We ended up staying even after we finishing up, trying to wait out the heavy rains that had moved in.

Brett and Frankie are leaving for Lake Whitney tomorrow morning where they’ll be working at a COE park until September. Hopefully we’ll cross paths again soon.

As for Jan and I, we’ll be up very early, so we can head out about 5am to be down in La Marque to drop Karma off at 7am to be spayed. Then we get to wait around until around 3pm or so to then pick her up.

Oh Boy!

Whitewater And Bears

May 15, 2017

It Just Wasn’t To Be . . .

It finally crept up into the low 60’s today, but stayed pretty overcast with only occasional rays of sunlight.

But according to the Weather Channel, we’re still looking for snow tomorrow night, so we’ll see what happens.

About 1:30 we headed into Bend to have brunch at Big Bear Diner and then on to the movies.

Along the way we passed the weigh station that has always been closed, and that we planned on getting a free weigh as we leave here on Wednesday. But for the first time since we started coming to Bend in 2011, the weigh station was open and in use, so we’ll see how it goes on Wednesday.

Then right before we got to the Black Bear Dinner on US20, we passed Dr. Jolly’s,

Dr Jolly's Mary Jane

Dr. Jolly’s is a licensed marijuana dispensary, which I guess is why he’s so jolly.

We both decided we wanted breakfast so Jan got an mushroom cheese omelet.

Black Bear Bend Jan

Along with the country-fried red potatoes, and a big chunk of avocado, she got a side of bacon.

Black Bear Bend Bacon

Jan refers to the way she likes bacon as ‘glass bacon’, so crispy that it shatters when you touch it.

I had the two egg combo with link sausage, potatoes, and rye toast.

Black Bear Bend Greg

Everything was as good as we’ve come to expect from Black Bear, and why we keep going back.

Before we left, we each got one of their desserts for later,Jan choosing the Coconut Cream Pie and I got the Bread Pudding.

Leaving we saw that even black bears eat there. Makes sense, I guess.

Black Bear Bend Bears

Leaving the diner we drove over to the downtown area to see Colossal at the Tin Pan Theater. But it was not to be. We could never actually find the place.

We think it was down a blocked-off alley, but by the time we figured that out, we would have missed the beginning of the movie, so we thought we’d try again tomorrow. But when I got home and checked I found the theater is not open on Tuesdays.

Turns out the place is a small 30 seat art theater, which probably explains why it’s down an alley. So we’ll have to try and catch Colossal down the road somewhere.

As we drove around we saw a lot of trees in bloom, with various shade of white and pink.

Bend Pink Tree 1

Bend Pink Tree 2

Bend Pink Tree 3

We’ve been told that some of these are cherry trees, but we’ve been lied to before, so we don’t really know. But they really are beautiful.

I guess Bend OR figured they don’t have enough whitewater rapids in the area, so they built their own . . . right downtown.

Bend Rapids 5

Built back in 2009, they arranged boulders and barriers to speed up the water flow and  generate some whitewater. There are three different paths through the area. The top is for kayaks and tubes,

Bend Rapids 2

while the middle route is for rafts and surfing. Yes, surfing.

Bend Rapids 1

Bend Rapids 3

The bottom route, called the Habitat Channel, is off-limits to people, and reserved for animals. But not all I guess, since ducks are often known to ride both of the other channels. Even ducks like fun.

Tomorrow’s our last day here in Bend, so we’re making one last visit to Baldy’s BBQ for dinner, and to have leftovers for our travels.

Thought for the Day:

I keep telling Jan that with some Liquid Paper and a black Sharpie, I can even that mustache right up.

Karma CloseUp