Monday, September 21, 2015


After several friends and relatives asked me to continue blogging I've decided to try again. Thank you for your encouragement. My computer was giving me fits but hopefully it's going to work better now that my live-in "Handy Man" fixed it and got me going again with all his help. You're in for a long one because a lot has happened in a month.

The "Ole E Ranch" 
It was great to be home. Since we're only home two or three months we don't even move out of the motorhome. We say it's the best campground we've ever stayed in. This year it was especially quiet because our road was blocked off to through traffic because of road work and construction. 

Walking on our torn up road checking out the progress of the new Town Center 
Our little rural road will never be the same. There is a 160-acre Town Center being developed on our corner. The new Meijer anchor store is only the beginning. It won't stand alone long. We will see a big change when we return in the spring. The good thing is we can walk to the store. We may like that as we get older. Dick says I could always be a greeter.


BOO got a little freaked out and we finally found him in the dashboard. 

Passing through all the small towns in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is always interesting
We took Hwy 2 across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan planning to be in Glacier National Park in five days. When we arrived in North Dakota we checked on the fire situation in the park and heard there were several still burning with low visibility because of all the smoke. So we decided to wait it out at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, hoping they would be contained soon.  

Wild horses at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Lots of Prairie Dogs

Buffalo roaming everywhere
After a week exploring both the north and south units of the park, the fires were still burning in Glacier, so we made the decision to change our destination to Yellowstone National Park. We took Hwy 12 into Montana, a beautiful route that goes all the way to the west coast. Then we hear there is just as much smoke in Yellowstone. So we figured if we have to deal with smoke we might as well head for Glacier. But first we took a detour to visit a place we've never been -- the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. It was a deeply humbling experience.

A beautiful memorial to the Lakota, Sioux and Cheyenne who fought to preserve their way of life.

Memorial to the soldiers, including Custer, who died here in 1876 fighting the Sioux and Cheyenne.

The black marker is Custer's
We traveled north to Many Glacier Campground finally arriving Sept 1st and just in time for eight days of cold, cloudy or rain, but that didn't stop Dick from backpacking to a couple of his favorite places. He'd come back looking like a drowned rat but with a smile on his face. We would rather have the rain than fires and smoke. Fortunately, the three weeks we were in the park we had some sunshine too. What was extra special while staying at Many Glacier was our friends from home were campground hosts. We enjoyed our time with them.

Friends from home, Dean and Diane Tobias, campground hosts at Many Glacier
A special treat - my birthday dinner at the Many Glacier Lodge with friends. 
The Hutterites sell fresh fruits and vegetables in Babb, MT once a week.
We hiked to Iceberg Lake but unfortunately, no icebergs this year.

There's always a moose at Fishercap Lake just a short hike out of Many Glacier
We also stayed in two other campgrounds in other areas of the park where we enjoyed some beautiful fall weather.

Hiking with Dean and Diane Tobias
Wolf Mountain at sunrise (our motorhome and car)
Dick was happy to have sunshine and good weather for a 3-day hike.
I saw lots of wildlife while hiking around Two Medicine.
Another picture of Mt Sinopah, my favorite place in Glacier.

Visited our nephew, Kevin Mallery, in Whitefish where he lives year round.
Discovered in our bathroom
At one of the campgrounds, we picked up several stowaways who wanted to get in out of the rain. It was an exciting night of mousecapades. I took a double take when I saw the above. At first I thought it was one of BOO's toys! 
Our traps caught 5 and BOO caught two. It gave Dick something to write about. As you know Dick is the RV Shrink and writes a weekly column for, an online newsletter. 

Elinor loved hitching a ride in our motorhome.
We met some Continental Divide hikers when we were in East Glacier. Dick talked with them awhile and then one of them asked for a ride when she heard we were heading to Marias Pass. We ended up visiting with her for nearly an hour. She has also hiked the AT, the PCT and this was her second time hiking the CDT, her favorite. Her next hike is across New Zeeland. A great morning. Dick enjoys giving back - he owes a lot of people for all the "trail magic" he has when he hikes.

A fun visit with Walt at the Polebridge Mercantile
Of course, when we visit Glacier NP we HAVE to go to the Polebridge Mercantile for a "bear claw" pastry. It's about a 30 mile drive from our campground on the west side. We were very disappointed when we saw how small they were this year. Nearly half as big as other years. New ownership has to ruin things. Oh well, it ended up being another great morning when we met Walt from Minneapolis. Dick found his match. I rarely got a word in edgewise as these two characters and lovers of Glacier NP bounced stories off each other.

While camping it's always fun to see all the different RVs people have. Here are a few I just had to share.

1950 Chevrolet pulling a 1950 Silver Streak and the guy said his wife was also a 1950 model.
Shasta trailer - love the plaid curtains
This interesting monster was parked across from us. Made in the USA by

We are enjoying our trip and have had no problems except for the night Dick camped at Granite Park and a "pack"rat ate a large hole in his expensive tent. It must have been trying to get in out of the cold and rain. 

On to Washington......

Saturday, September 19, 2015


It was fun watching all the pleasure boats going through the locks

We are camped at a beautiful C.O.E. campground alongside the Cabosahatchee River, also known as the C-43  Canal which connects Lake Okechobee with the Gulf of Mexico. We had a difficult time reserving a space here but we snagged two nights playing Campground BINGO! All was well until we realized we had reserved a shared space. This was a first for us. Our neighbor was sitting outside so we introduced ourselves and my first impression was there was something a bit strange about this guy, especially since he kept spitting and talking to himself. I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was talking on an earbud phone. Then whoever was on the other end was getting an earful of the F word. No - he WAS talking to himself and very angrily. Whoa....this was not good. Then around 2pm we get a knock on our door and it was HIM asking if we'd like anything from the store...."beer, steaks etc..."  He was heading into town and would be glad to bring something back for us. We didn't even know this guy??? Then we realized there was a woman with him as they drove away. Fortunately, she was doing the driving. He apparently was drunk or high on something. We lucked out because they never returned and we wondered if they were hoping we'd give them some money to pick up the beer and steaks he suggested. A sad situation. We enjoyed the rest of our stay at Ortona and hope to stay longer next time.

In our last blog we were camped at Padre Island National Park. We always enjoy our time there. We did the morning birding trip given by two volunteers and learned so much about the park. The nice thing about going with someone who lives there is they know where the birds hangout - especially the Peregrine and the elusive Snipe.

The sad part about Padre Island National Park is all the trash that washes up onto the beach. Every time we are here we enjoy driving out onto the beach to look for shells etc... I always have a bag handy to pick up trash. This is what I gathered in a one hour walk one morning, and I had to leave a lot behind too large for the bag. The predominant southeast wind drives the currents to this location in the Northwest corner. We were told most of these objects come from fishing/shrimping industries or offshore natural gas platforms and also Mexico. It's a constant job to keep the beaches clean.

We have a route along the coast to and from Florida that stays away from the Interstate. There are three ferry crossings. Only the one from Freeport to Galveston charges $2.00, the other two are free. Except the squeezing through the pay gate and scraped our wheel cover along the curb. It's a more scenic route along the Gulf, passing houses on stilts, lots of shorebirds, sometimes porpoises leading our way at the ferry crossings, brama bulls in the fields. Then there are also areas of gas drilling which isn't so beautiful. 

This picture was taken from our motorhome window of the ferry we're waiting to board.


All dwellings are built on stilts.

The Bluewater Hwy from Surfside to Galveston is another beautiful part on this route. This 10 ft tall statue created as a memorial to the Great Storm of 1900 that killed over 6,000 people in Galveston.

Another beautiful road along the coast is Hwy 82. It begins at the Texas/Louisiana border all the way to Abbeville. I love traveling through the historic towns of Abbeville, New Iberia and Morgan City. We arrived in the area two days after Mardi Gras and there were gold, purple and green decorations everywhere. We stayed away from New Orleans this trip. We were there two years ago and have wonderful memories. (I would have liked a beignet though). This time we camped on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain at Fontainebleau State Park and the Saloneks from Minnesota just happen to be there the same time. We met them in 2010 on Padre Island. We enjoyed our visit. 

Bob and Marlys Salonek
It was getting close to OSCAR time so we timed it to be at Davis Bayou National Park in Ocean Springs where we knew we'd get ABC. We had our own Oscar party.

We knew it was time to replace our nearly 10 year old tires on the motorhome. While in Ocean Springs, Dick found a deal at a reputable tire dealer and bit the bullet. I feel safer now but for several days after, everytime I stepped out of the RV I would smell horse manure. I got to thinking it must be something about us and finally realized it was the new tires. I sure hope that doesn't last long.

We finally made it to Florida and stayed at Ft. Pickens National Seashore. The Barkers, friends from home, just happened to be renting a condo just outside the park gate. The weather turned cold and rainy so they took us to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. After three days it was time to move on and the morning we left the park they were waving from their 13th floor Condo balcony. 

Colleen and Rob Barker disembarking Nixon's Marine One Presidential Helicopter