Daily Archives: May 22, 2022

Can You See Me Now?

I think I finally got Godaddy to make the changes I needed, and several readers have said that they’re seeing the blog now when they weren’t below.

So if you’re seeing it now, please let me know.

Lunch today was King Food once again, always delicious.

We both got the Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce with Jalapenos, along with Fried Rice and an Egg Roll.

And of course starting with their Hot & Sour Soup.

And as I noted the last time we were here, they have a perfect way to keep from having to reprint their large menu to keep up with the rising prices.

After lunch we headed over to the office so I could finish setting up the UPS Remote Station connected to the new Shipping computer without having to work around people during the day. And with no interruptions, it only took about 30 minutes to finish up.

And that completes everything that needs to be done in setting up the new Shipping computer.

Westport, WA and Cle Elum

May 22, 2010

Bloody Mary’s and Northern Exposures

Be sure and check out yesterday’s post which I didn’t get posted until this afternoon due to a bad Internet connection in Westport, WA

Also forget to mention in yesterday’s post about the Bloody Mary’s that Al and I had at The Half Moon Bay restaurant last night

First off, they use peppered Stoli Vodka so it’s really hot and spicy. And they also include all the 5 basic food groups. In addition to the normal stalk of celery, we got a piece of Slim Jim, a piece of cheese, two steamed green beans, a pearl onion, a green olive, a cherry tomato, a boiled shrimp, and a lemon slice. By the time you finish the drink, you’re almost too full for supper.


We left the American Sunset RV in Westport, WA about 9 am after saying our goodbyes to our good friends, Al and Adrienne Cox. We first met them in Fairbanks, AK two years ago and have kept in touch ever since.

We only went about a quarter mile down the road where we stopped and got diesel at a local Chevron station. The station canopy said the height was 12’ 4”.  Since the coach is 12’ high, I didn’t want to take a chance on scrapping it,  so I dumped the air bags which dropped the coach height about 6”.

The only real problem I had is one I’ve had before. Slow fuel pumps. It took about 20 minutes to take on 115 gallons.

Finally we got back on the road and headed toward Cle Elum, WA, 195 miles away, our stop for the night.

About 11:30 am we stopped for lunch at the Super Buffet Chinese Buffet in Du Pont, WA, about 15 miles west of Tacoma. We saw their sign along the Interstate and decided to give it a try. We were just hoping we would be able find a place to park the rig. And we lucked up. We found a place right beside the restaurant.

And the buffet was really good. Maybe the best one since Yuma.

About 40 miles before Cle Elum we started seeing the mountains of Snoqualmie Pass, complete with a lot of snow.


We got into Whispering Pines RV Park in Cle Elum about 2:30 pm and got set up.

Well, everything got set up, except the satellite dish. There were a lot of trees and I just couldn’t get a good sight line.

So I gave up for a while, and about 3:45 pm we headed about 5 miles away to Roslyn, WA. .

Roslyn’s claim to fame is that it was the town of Cicely, AK in TV’s Northern Exposure.

And it’s all still there.

Ruth Anne’s store is still a store.


Dr. Joel Fleischman’s office is now a gift shop. We came here because Jan wanted to replace some of her Northern Exposure T-shirts that she wore out since we were here two years ago


And the iconic Roslyn Café is…still a café.


And of course, Chris’ KBHR studio, which still seems to be a TV show set.


And the Brick is still the Brick, although it looks completely different inside from what it did on the show.


We got back to the site about 4:45 and I started working on the satellite again. Finally I found a place about 50 feet out in front of the coach where I could get a signal through the trees.

Now Jan’s happy, so all’s right with the world.

Tomorrow we will head out for Coeur d” Alene, ID for a couple of days.

Landon Skyping

May 22, 2011

Fresno and Landon . . .

I got up a little early this morning, about 9:45, because we weren’t sure exactly what time we’d be Landon Skyping.

While we were waiting I fixed coffee and had a muffin for breakfast, I went down to the office to re-up here at the park until the 31st.

I got back just in time to answer our Landon Skype call.

Landon was his usual rambunctious self, showing how he could pull himself upright with no problems. The way he’s going he’ll be walking soon.

Video call snapshot 93
Video call snapshot 92
Video call snapshot 95
Video call snapshot 96
Video call snapshot 100
Video call snapshot 101
Video call snapshot 104
Video call snapshot 107
Video call snapshot 115
Video call snapshot 116
Video call snapshot 118

Brandi said Landon said “Mama” yesterday, but this morning he mostly just squealed and laughed a lot. He always seemed to react to us on the screen when we talked to him, so hopefully he’ll know us when we see him in August at our family reunion in Illinois.

We spent about 20 minutes online with Landon, Brandi, and Lowell before setting up our next call in two weeks and saying our goodbyes.

A little later Jan fixed us a lunch of cheese toast and Salt & Cracked Pepper potato chips. Really good.

About 2 pm we headed down to Fresno about 35 miles away for some shopping. Our first stop was Sam’s Club for some staples. Next up was World Market where Jan did some shopping, before repeating the same thing at a Bed, Bath, & Beyond right done the road.

By this time it was about 4:30 and we were getting hungry so we decided to try the New China Buffet, listed as one of the best Chinese buffets in Fresno. It turned out to be very good . . . and also very busy.

Leaving the buffet, our last stop was at a nearby Wal-Mart before heading back to the Park of the Sierras. But we did stop off and get cappuccinos before getting home about 7:30.

Tractor Supply

May 22, 2012

A New, New Record . . .

I’ve been trying to upload this blog for about 3 hours now with no luck. I don’t know if Verizon is working on things or what. But every night a little after midnight, I lose data service on both my Droid and my aircard. Normally I get it back between 3 and 4am, but not tonight. Here it is 5:30 and still no service. Hopefully it will come back before I knock off at 7.

Today (Tuesday) was pretty laidback with only a normal amount of traffic (70-80 vehicles), but yesterday was a madhouse.

For some reason the pad for this site is apparently smaller than normal, and yesterday they had so many big trucks coming in carrying casing pipe, drilling mud, water, and other fluids, that they didn’t have enough room on the pad, and so had to start restricting access to 4 rigs at a time.

Believe me, truck drivers do not do “waiting patiently” very well,

In fact, not at all.

At one time, I had nine rigs parked along side of the road waiting their turn to get in. And it really didn’t help things when the Company Man called me and said to send in a couple of the rigs from the middle of the pack, because their drilling mud was needed NOW.

I thought I was going to have a riot on my hands. The drivers were yelling and jeering at the two trucks that got to jump line, and the two drivers were yelling back. Finally about 6:30pm we got caught up and things settled down. I should have gotten extra pay as a traffic cop/anger management consultant.

Our previous vehicle record was 128 vehicles as our old site was shutting down before moving here. Our new record is now 148 for this past Monday. Still don’t know yet if this is normal for a new rig starting up.

They do seem to be making good progress here. The hole is down to about 4800 feet, but the computer said the bit was at about 200 feet. Don’t know if they’re putting down casing, or just changing bits. I’ll try to find out tomorrow.

Looks like our days are now permanently in the 90’s. It helps that the humidity pretty much stays in the 20% range. Tractor Supply sells some misting units that I’m going to check out for when it gets hotter.

It’s still very comfortable at night though, with temps in the low to mid 60’s. In fact I usually wear a long sleeve shirt at night for a little warmth.

I Shot A Man in Reno

May 22, 2013

. . . just to watch him die.

We headed out on our 150 mile daytrip about  8:30 this morning, but our first stop was only a few miles up the road for breakfast at Denny’s.

Back on the road by 9:30 we drove up the west side of Lake Tahoe on SR89 for about 30 miles until we came to Tahoe City. Along the way we passed a lot of spectacular scenery overlooking Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Day Trip 1
Tahoe Day Trip 2
Tahoe Day Trip 3
Tahoe Day Trip 4

At one turnout near the head of Emerald Bay, we looked down on Vikingsholm, a Scandinavian castle built by Lora Knight in 1929.

Vikingsholm 1

One of the first summer homes built on Lake Tahoe, it welcomed celebrities such as Will Rogers over the years.


Besides the castle, Mrs. Knight also had built a rustic 16 x 16 ft. teahouse on Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe.

Vikingsholm Teahouse 1

Located at the highest point on the island, all of the stone had to be ferried by boat over to the island.

Vikingsholm Teahouse 2

It seems like every turn just brought more great scenery into view.

Tahoe Day Trip 5

A little way before we reached Tahoe City we encountered these two really neat old cars.

Tahoe Day Trip Car 1

Not sure, but I think they’re Rolls Royces.

Tahoe Day Trip Car 2

Reaching Tahoe City, we turned away from the lake and headed north to I-80 and Truckee. Reaching Truckee, we turned west for a few miles and ended up at Donner Pass State Park.

The museum covered not only the Donner party, but also the many emigrants who passed through here on their way to California.

Unfortunately, because of the way the many displays were lighted, I wasn’t able to get any good photos. But they did have this model Conestoga wagon loaded up with typical supplies.

Donner Museum 1

And this was something I’d never seen or heard of before. It’s a snowshoe made for horses.

Donner Museum 2

Leaving the museum, we headed down the nature trail that lead toward the area where some of the Donner party wintered over from November 1846 to February 1847.

Donner Museum 4

None of the cabins survived, but this rock was the wall and fireplace of one of them.

Donner Museum 3

This monument, near the museum, commemorates the hardships suffered here, and also marks the spot of another cabin. The height of the monument base, at 22 feet, marks the depth of the snow in the area that winter.

Donner Museum 5

Leaving the area and heading east toward Reno, we thought about the irony of the fact that the Interstate I-80 now runs along the route that the Donner party was trying to take.

Getting into Reno, we turned south toward Virginia City, climbing about 2000 feet up into the mountains, with another set of great views along the way.

Virginia City 1
Virginia City 2

Coming into Virginia City, we found a quaint, old fashioned town clinging to the mountain side. Most of the town buildings date from from after the big fire of 1875, when most of the town burned to the ground. Only one partial block was left standing.

Virginia City turns out to be a lot hiller than it seemed to be on Bonanza.

Virginia City 7

Over 2000 buildings were lost, leaving 10,000 people homeless. But the entire town was rebuilt in less than a year.

Our first stop was “The Way It Was” museum. Housing thousands of artifacts from Virginia City’s heyday, it details many facets of the townspeople’s lives.

Virginia City 4

Home of the fabled Comstock Lode, the many mines around the area yielded up over $400 million dollars of gold and silver. That’s billions in today’s dollars.

One of my favorite exhibits was this scale model showing only 250 miles of the interconnected 800 miles of mineshafts underneath the town.

Virginia City 5

Sorry for the so-so photos, but the sunlight coming through a skylight washed it out.

Virginia City 6

Next we took a tram ride around town, with our tour guides pointing out the many mansions in the area, and also the many brothels. Unfortunately a number of places we wanted to see were still closed for the winter, and won’t reopen until this weekend.

One thing I did see was a new personal record for a mountain grade. My previous best had been 12% going through Canada, but that was in the RV.

But 15%, even in the truck was pretty good.

Virginia City 3

Leaving Virginia City, and getting back to Reno about 4pm, we stopped off at Famous Dave’s BBQ for dinner. And as usual, really, really good. But Jan and I were both somewhat disappointed that this franchisee doesn’t the Firecracker Green Beans as a side dish. Bummer. They’re really good.

After dinner, Wal-Mart, and Sam’s Club, I stopped off at a Home Depot to pick a new drinking water faucet for our kitchen counter.

Home Depot Drinking Faucet

Hopefully this one will last as long as the first one did.

Getting home about 8:30, we were both pooped after a long but very fun day. But tomorrow will be a do-nothing day, let me tell you.

When we got home, we found Landon’s school class photo that Brandi had sent over. That’s him on the upper left. Love those plaid shorts he’s got on.

Landon's School Picture 2013


May 22, 2015

Anything But Goodyear . . .

Wednesday 5/20

Jan and I were on the road by 6am, heading for Vandalia, IL 1534 miles away. We didn’t want to miss a long-scheduled family reunion with Jan’s sister Debbie and her family, so a road trip was in order. We planned on making it in two days, stopping for the night in Amarillo, TX.

But about 10 miles south of Flagstaff, our journey came to a halt with a big BOOM! But with not as much resulting excitement as our blowout on the rig a few weeks ago. So, yes, my second Goodyear tire, the driver’s rear, blew out.

Truck Blowout

The day before we left, I’d had replaced my passenger front tire because the Goodyear on that wheel had popped open along a sidewall seam and had also developed a wobble. The tire guy at Big O checked my other tires and said they looked good.

I had just started to jack up the truck when an Arizona Highway Patrol officer pulled in behind me. He was kind of worried because we were parked just past an entrance ramp onto the Interstate, but he put out some cones to help guide the traffic entering the Interstate around us.

After getting the truck jacked up, I lowered the spare tire from underneath the truck bed, and quickly discovered that Goodyear had struck again.

Last February, my son Chris had swapped out my right front tire with my spare because it felt a little funny, like it was out of balance, or something. I figured it would still be a good spare for a few miles if I needed one.

But when I looked at the spare I found that it had blown out while it was underneath the truck. It looked like it had exploded from the inside, blowing several large chunks of rubber out of the sidewall. You might think that this might have been caused by road debris, maybe even from something thrown out from our rig blowout, but no. The damage was on the topside of the tire where it was shielded up against the bottom of the bed. The tire had just blown out all on its own.

I called my Good Sam ERS and told them I needed either a new tire, or a tow. But when I was told 45 minutes to an hour, the Highway Patrol officer said he would have to call the Patrol’s tow service because they could be there in 20 minutes, and he wanted us off the road as quick as possible. And of course I would have to pay for that tow. But Good Sam said I might be able to get reimbursed.

So, 55 minutes later, the OFFICIAL tow service shows up.

Truck Tow 1
Truck Tow 2

And an hour later, and $143 poorer, we were sitting in the waiting area of a Big O Tire Store on the east side of Flagstaff having two new tires ($273) put on our truck. Finally  two and a half hours after the BOOM we were back on the road.

We had planned to have lunch in Gallup, NM, but ended up at a Carl’s Jr. in Holbrook instead. I tried their new All-American Burger that has a little of everything, including a hamburger, a hot dog, and even kettle-fried potato chips.

Carl's All-American Burger

It was good, but confusing, with the taste of both a hamburger and a hot dog.

Mister of course was with us, but couldn’t settle down, going back and forth from the front seat to the back. This is the first time he’s traveled more than a few miles in anything other than the rig, and he couldn’t figure out what was going on. He just knew something wasn’t right.

What Jan and I missed most was our bathroom in the rig, especially with signs like these at the rest areas.

Rattlesnake Rest Area

It was a real pain keeping track of upcoming rest areas, figuring how far to the next one, and then finding it closed. It’s much more convenient to just pull over when you have a wide shoulder and take care of things.

For dinner, we ended up at another Carl’s Jr., this one in Santa Rosa, NM. But this time I just ordered a Double Bacon Cheeseburger which was really good.

We finally pulled in to the Quality Inn in Amarillo about 10:45pm, very tired after a long day. Besides our tire delay, we lost two hours changing from  Arizona’s non-Daylight Savings Time (the equivalent to Pacific Time) to Texas’ Central Daylight Time.


May 22, 2017

HuHot and Old Cars . . .

Beautiful weather here in Billings today, with temps in the high 60’s and a lot of sun. But since it’s supposed to be in the low 40’s tonight, I plugged my engine’s block heater once again for a toasty engine tomorrow morning.

We’ve stayed here a number of the times over the years and you can’t ask for a nicer park.

Billings RV Park

There’s even parking for two vehicles if you need it.

For breakfast this morning we had our Wheat Montana treats from yesterday’s visit.

Wheat Montana Goodies

She got a Chocolate Croissant while I got an Almond Bearclaw. Both really good. Too bad we didn’t buy more.

Jan spend an hour or so at one of the two nearby park laundries doing our heavy floor rugs, the only thing she doesn’t normally do in our rig’s Splendide Washer/Dryer combo.

About 4pm we headed out to have dinner at our other favorite Billings’ eatery, HuHot Mongolian Grill.

Like the Genghis Grill, HuHot gives you an empty bowl and you go down a cafeteria-type line filling your bowl up with all the meats, veggies, and sauces you want.

HuHot Ingredients

Then you give it to the grill guy who tosses it on a big circular grill and cooks it up for you while you watch.

And what starts out like this,

HuHot Before

ends up like this.

HuHot After

One thing kind of funny was the grill guy’s reaction when he tossed my bowl on the grill. I had loaded it up with all of the really hot and spicy sauces, so when the steamy vapors hit in the face, he jerked back saying :”WOW”. When he looked over at me, I just smiled.

As we were leaving HuHot I saw this really nice 1937 V-8 Ford in the parking lot.

HuHot 1937 Ford 1

Love those taillights. Note the gas cap in the nearest one.

HuHot 1937 Ford 2

Then it was off to the nearby Sam’s Club to pick up a prescription for me and a case of Joint Juice for Jan. We also scouted out the gas station to get some diesel tomorrow morning before we leave town.

Besides being close by and an easy in and out, at $2.37/gallon, it’s the cheapest in the area by about $.20 a gallon.

Later, coming home from Sam’s we passed another bunch of old cars.

Billings Old Cars 1
Billings Old Cars 2

Don’t know why they’re stored there, but they run the gambit of really old to fairly new.

One of our blog readers noticed the helper springs on our wiper arms in the photo of Karma sleeping on the dash yesterday..

Montana Karma on Dash 2

I found these at a truck stop a few years ago, but you can get the same ones here on Amazon.


They work great to keep the blades firmly against the glass, and even better, here on Amazon they’re half the price of the truck stop ones. Check ‘em out..

Looking at our route to Rapid City tomorrow, I noticed that if I take US 212 past the Custer Battlefield, it makes a 50 mile shorter route around to connect back up with I-90 right above Sturgis, turning our 363 mile trip into only 313 miles.

So off we go.

Farmhouse Café

May 22, 2021

End Of School . . .

Thought first I’d catch with our Thursday get-together up in Huntsville with Debi and Ed Hurlburt, and Janice and Dave Evans at the Farmhouse Café.

We were beginning to get a little worried with the route our Garmin GPS was taking us through the backstreets of Huntsville, but we finally found the place tucked in behind Sam Houston State University. And it turned out to be just as good as advertised.

Farmhouse Cafe

Jan got the Grilled Chicken Breast with Fried Green Tomatoes and Green Beans,

Farmhouse Cafe Jan

while I got the Chicken Juarez with Turnip Greens and Green Beans.

Farmhouse Cafe Greg

Ed Hurlburt also got the Grilled Chicken Breast like Jan, but with a Loaded Sweet Potato and Fruit.

Farmhouse Cafe Ed

Dave Evans, however,went in a piscatorial direction, with the Fried Catfish, Fries, and Hushpuppies.

Farmhouse Cafe Dave

I never got a look at what Debi and Janice had since they were on the other side of the table, but I didn’t hear any complaints.

Already looking forward to our get-together in July, since we’ll be gone in June.

Finally broke down today and subscribed to AppleTV+ so Jan and I could watch For All Mankind, the alternate history of the U.S.- Russian Space Race. A lot of family/friends have been recommending it.

As I always do, I registered using one of the Privacy.com limited credit cards so that I can easily drop my subscription at any time without worrying about continuing charges.

For lunch today we went to Los Ramirez once again and it was delicious as always. Plus you know you’ve been to a place a lot when the lady getting our drinks tells us what we want, and also that we want no chips but two green sauces, and only one straw. And the waiter taking our order walks up and just repeats our order to us without any prompting.

Our daughter Brandi and several other mothers got together and had an End of School party for the kids, including a BIG water slide and a Taco Truck.

Brandi Water Slide Party
Brandi Water Slide Party 2

Looks like they had a lot of fun, and managed to dodge all the rain and lightning.

Though I doubt if the kids would have minded the rain under the circumstances.

Thought For The Day:

Schrodinger’s Cat