Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mary – 08-27/30-11 WY/UT Trip –Cheyenne, WY to Gillette, WY

We made it to the Escapee Club Rally (Escapades 51) on Sunday 8/28, as planned, but not without more drama with poor Sadie. It seems the pain drops provided for her corneal ulcer make her blind. On Friday night she fell out of bed. Fortunately, she didn’t hurt herself but she was traumatized and frantic to find a safe place. She ended up between the pillows with her butt up against the headboard where she remained the rest of the night. We discovered in the morning her back legs were hanging off the end of the mattress so she couldn’t move the rest of the night. Oops.  After putting pillows and blankets on the floor all around the bed on Saturday night, she stayed in the middle of the bed with no mishaps. I, on the other hand, almost killed myself trying to get over all the pillows to get to the bathroom.
My brain has slept too many times since Saturday to remember what may have happened other than we drove from Cheyenne to Buffalo. On Sunday we had a short trip to the rally in Gillette, WY. The pictures below were taken between Cheyenne and Gillette. Eastern Wyoming is pretty flat, and boring, but we found a few interesting places to snap. After parking and setting up, we crashed for a bit and then went to the opening ceremony. The facility here is designed for conventions rather than county fairs – much better than the location we attended last year. Everything is in the same building and nicely air-conditioned. Classes began at 8:30 Monday morning so it was another early to bed day.

Conni attended two classes on Monday morning – I finally made it out of bed for lunch and caught a class at 1:00.

Sadie’s eye ulcer is worse – doubled in size. Her ophthalmologist in Grapevine overnighted new drops. Hopefully, this will help the pain and the healing without impairing her vision. In the picture below she is laying in my lap on her back getting her eye drops.

STOP - Please, No More Drops!
Today brought more classes – one on blogging and one on Velcro use in the RV. Both good – bought lots of Velcro. We attended a jam session this evening – guitars, banjo, violin, a drum, and harmonica and assorted other musical instruments. It was great. People played and sang and some danced.

Jam Session at Rally

Figment – 08-29-11 WY/UT Trip – Gillette, WY

The mamas left me most of the day to attend various seminars about RVs. Why they just didn’t ask me, I don’t know. It was pretty cool most of the day and I enjoyed visiting with other RVs here for the Rally. After the classes, the mamas left for some dinner and I was settled in for the early evening. Well, things kinda went awry rather quickly. It got cooler, dark, and windy all of a sudden. Just bam and it was here. Right after that there was a lot of thunder and lightning. I can tell you, I was pretty scared. All the flags around here were flying straight out and rain was coming down so fast that it just rushed thru the campsite. When the mamas got back, I learned that they had parked Gully Jumper under a building overhang for protection. What about me???? I’m newer, I’m bigger, I’m more expensive! Oh well, they said all was well since there wasn’t any hail that had been predicted. I felt a little better after I found out that they had tried to get back to me earlier.

Mary – 08-25/26-11 WY/UT Trip – Burlington, CO to Cheyenne, WY

After our rough, or at least hot, start on Wednesday, Thursday was great. We slept for 11 hours Wednesday night and felt all rested and ready to go on Thursday morning. We spent the day traveling through Kansas and making it just into Colorado for Thursday night. Kansas is beautiful farm country.
Kansas - Field of Flowers
Kansas - Windmill Farm
We spent Thursday night at the Kit Carson County Fairgrounds in Burlington, CO. There was no fair so we had the whole RV parking area to ourselves, plus the added bonus of the Kit Carson Carousel a few hundred feet away. It was built in 1907 and was completely refurbished down to the original paint on the animals and beautiful paintings all the way around the center of the carousel. Against our better judgment, we both got on antelopes and had a fabulous ride with the band organ playing and us spinning at 12 miles an hour -- faster than the 8 that most go. Fortunately, we dismounted with no mishaps. There was also a nice little museum and we got our own private tour inside the center mechanical section to see how the carousel wheels and pulleys work -- very neat.  I've attached the link if you'd like to read more about it and see more pictures. www.kitcarsoncountycarousel.com/

Kit Carson County Carousel

Inside the Center of Carousel
... the carousel goes round & round, round & round
Sadie hasn't had such a great trip. Sadie visited a Grapevine ophthalmologist a couple of times before we left because of an ulcer on her eye. She's been getting multiple prescription drops daily and it seemed to be doing okay until yesterday. She began keeping it closed and it was clearly painful when touching around it to add drops. Fortunately for her, and us, we were able to get her in to see an ophthalmologist at the Colorado State College Veterinary school in Ft. Collins. They were fabulous and had us back on the road in little more than an hour. We loved Ft. Collins and have added it to the retirement locale possibilities.  

Sick & Tired
... but in my favorite spot

Colorado State University
School of Veterinary Medicine
We decided to stop for the night in Cheyenne, WY, which is only about 100 miles shy of where we'd planned to stay tonight. We had a great barbecue dinner delivered to the RV and are settling in for another good night's sleep. Wyoming makes me think of The Virginian, Bonanza, and all those other great western TV shows we watched endlessly when I was a kid. :)
 We are heading for Buffalo, WY tomorrow and then to the rally in Gillette Sunday morning.

Figment – 08-25-11 WY/UT Trip – Valley Center, KS to Burlington, CO

Nice day today. Inside and outside was a little cooler than yesterday. They let me just have a leisurely day, so it was special. I’ve been most of this route once before, but still enjoyed the thousands of acres of corn, maize, soybeans, and sunflowers. Nice rolling hills. I can say that I really like Kansas. I've posted a picture showing the slightly irregular stripes I followed for miles. Just before the day was over, we crossed into Colorado. Looks the same to me, but the mamas said it will be much different tomorrow. Can’t wait.
Figment keeping a close watch from inside.
We’re parking at a fair ground in Burlington, CO. and we’re the only ones here. I’m a little lonesome for some RV company. One really neat thing has the mamas all excited, but I’ll let Mama Mary tell you about that.

Mary – 08-24-11 WY/UT Trip - Home to Valley Center, KS

On the road again, but fairly miserable since we drove from home to Wichita, KS. with no generator, i.e. we only had the cab a/c.  It is 95 inside and 105 outside. We tried to get it fixed in Oklahoma City, where it was last worked on, but they couldn't get to it before tomorrow. Good news, we got it fixed in less than an hour for $75 in Wichita. I told the guy I wanted to hug him! More good news, we planned on spending our first night in Valley Center, and it was just minutes from the Cummings service shop. We just pulled in there and will probably be in bed by 7. Hopefully, this gets the drama for this trip out of the way. Poor Sadie thinks we are trying to kill her.

Figment – 08-24-11 WY/UT Trip – Home to Valley Center, KS

The day started out really weird. Around 4:30 a.m. Mama Conni comes out to the driveway in her p.j.s  and looks at my backside. Then, she went back in the garage and rummaged around. About 30 minutes later Mama Mary comes and checks out my backside. Since my engine isn’t running, I can’t see because my cameras aren’t powered on. This is really worrying me. OK, guess I’ll just have to settle until they tell me what’s going on.
OK, it’s about 5:30 a.m. and they have started loaded me for the trip. They weren’t even scheduled to be up until 7:00. Story is that Mama Conni, in her half-sleep, remembered that something just didn’t “look right” on my rear. When she finally worked it out, it was that the tow bar was missing. She looked for it and assumed that it had been stolen from either the RV dealership, a repair shop, or my storage space. After it finally got daylight and they could open my bins without waking the neighbors, it was found where the dealership had put it before taking me to the repair shop. Worrying about it prevented any more sleep though, so we hit the road way earlier than planned.
Afternoon -  Oh man, are the Mamas hot – literally. I think Mama Mary will update you on that. As for me, my puppies are screaming hot. Thought I’d be covered in blisters by the time we stopped for the nite. I’ve had a long hot day, so I’m headed to bed in this nice RV park. Nite, nite.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Figment - 08-23-11 WY/UT Trip - At Home

Oh my, I'm about to melt. It's 102 and that's actually cooler than it's been in the last few days. Mama Conni just rescued me from storage and I'm plugged in at the home garage. A/C running full blast, but I'm really hot inside and out. I heard them say they're waiting until it gets a little cooler to start loading for our next trip. Of course, I'm really excited. I know I'm going to be running down some roads I've been on before, but I hear of great adventures too - something about Jackson Hole, Yellowstone National Park, Salt Lake City, and some National Parks in southern Utah. I'm full of fuel and will be ready to hit the road tomorrow morning as soon as the sleepy-heads have some breakfast. I'm just going to stay in snooze-mode so I'll be ready too.
Yea! Adventure time!

Figment - 09-10-10

Yep, you got it! More rain. I’m doing a really good job though. I do have to be on really high alert because of the slick roads and people jumping into my “safe” space behind other vehicles. That does get a little old.
We were in 3 states today. Started out in Nashville, went thru Kentucky, and then into Indiana. Saw lots of corn fields and some other low leafy fields. None of us knew what that was.
We’re in our site at the Rally. Boy, are they organized. I have about 800 cousins here, the most I’ve ever seen. Big rigs, small rigs, trailers, custom vans, you name it. They’re from so many states. And, the best part, they all said “hi” when I went by. Really made me feel at home. Oh, one thing I found out – just because their tags say Texas or South Dakota, doesn’t mean they’re really from there or live there now. It’s a tax thing that I’m too young to understand yet.
Oh yeah, it was raining when we got here and the mamas had to get out and unhitch Gully. They didn’t like that much, but it could have been raining a lot harder. It’s still early, so I’m going to telecommunicate with my cousins and enjoy that for a while.
OK, pretty pleasant afternoon and evening. Well, except for the part where the mamas had a hard time getting me level. Harder on them than me though J  Turning in – nite, nite.

Figment - 09-09-10

Gee, another day of lots of rain. Started out good though. Nice and clear for leaving Little Rock. I hear we’re headed to Nashville. Another place I’ve never been. Heard the mamas talk about it though. Seems they like to visit there.
After lots of rain, we’re here at Jellystone Park in Nashville. We drove thru beautiful hills and valleys today. A really beautiful drive for us all. The park here is very nice. Every space has its own tree and the hookups are easy.
I’m really dirty and so is Gully, but I guess we’ll just have to grin and bear it for a while. Nite-nite.

Figment - 09-08-10

Ok, then, we’re all loaded and it’s pouring buckets. I’m thinking we’ll just sit tight here for a day or two. Hear that this is coming from Hurricane Hermine. Oh my! Their yard is flooding and the street is up. I’ve never seen this kind of stuff before. I hear the mamas saying they’re never seen it like this in north Texas. But, I hear a little about a place named Houston where they used to live. Apparently this is rather common there.
Well I’m not believing this, but it looks like we’re heading out anyway. OK by me. I’m sure I’ll do them a fine job. Wait! My dinghy isn’t hooked up yet. They’re really gonna get drenched in this downpour.
We hit the road right on schedule. Gully Jumper isn’t hooked up, but Mama Mary is driving it behind us. They’re hoping the rain will slack up enough to hook it up soon.
It’s raining so hard that we can barely go 40 mph and most of the time slower. I’ve never seen such flooding. Every little runoff looks like a roaring spring. The Trinity River by downtown Dallas is way out of the banks. The ________ Reservoir has white caps. Really looks bad. The rain is just beating my face something awful, but I’m gripping my toes and moving forward carefully. Gotta keep my mamas and myself safe. Mama Conni is doing a good job too J
Finally! Two and a half hours later and the rain has just about stopped. We’re pulling into a roadside park so Gully can get hitched up. I know Mama Mary is just about fit to be tied. She really doesn’t like driving anyway and this drive sure hasn’t been pleasant for any of us.
Later – I’m really liking this place. We’re in a city-owned park right on the Arkansas River in Little Rock. Well, we’re back one row, but we can all see it just fine. It’s a rather small city, but very clean. I’m right across the river from the Clinton Library. The mamas would like to go there, I hear, but not enough time on this trip. Long day – nite, nite.

Figment - 09-07-10

Oh wow, again! I’m home. Of course, you’ve gotta know that I’ve spent August and until now back at the shop. I’m so tired of either not being at home in my nice cozy storage or with my mamas. I hear talk that we’re headed to Indiana. That’s my birthplace, of course. I sure hope it’s a good thing and they’re not sending me back there for yet more work.
Oh goody, I just heard we’re going to our very first RV Rally. I’m going to get to take them places I’ve never been and get to meet lots of other RVs while they’re busy doing rally things.
Well, they’re starting to load me up with all that stuff they think they need to travel. Think I’ll just take a nice snooze while all that’s going on.

Figment - 06-11-10

Oh wow, wow, wow!!!!!!! They got me unloaded and now I’m having a nice cool bath. Oh, what is not to like? (shimmy, shimmy)
Ok, now I’m sad. They just dropped me back at the dealership to get repairs done. I really don’t like being left here, even though they treat me well. Guess the vacation really is over L
More later…………on down the road –

Figment - 06-09-10

Wow, Mama Conni was up bright and early and Mama Mary not far behind. Seems we’re gonna hit the road early to stay cooler. We’re boogying pretty good today. Doesn’t seem to be much of a concern about gas mileage, but more about just getting home where everyone will be cooler.  I’m rather sad because it means our trip was cut short by 2 days, not counting this heat drive.

Figment - 06-08-10

Whoa, Mama’s making time today. Wants to get to Santa Rosa, NM for the nite. We had a bad start because I needed some transmission fluid and the station in Chama didn’t have any. Quite an ordeal for everyone. They had to disconnect Gully Jumper IV, my dingy, so they could use it to go to an auto parts store. Well, it took forever to get disconnected for some reason. They were sweating by then and not all that happy. Mama Mary moved me to the side of the road and Mama Conni went off to get supplies. The whole thing made us leave quite a bit later than expected. Man, there is nothing to look at between Santa Fe and Santa Rosa. We did stop under a nice enough shade tree (one of very, very few) and Mama’s had lunch.
OK, we made it to Santa Rosa, but my cab air is not cooling very well and the front top a/c has decided to just blow hot air. None of us are happy at this point. To make things worse, it was 100 degrees when we got checked in to the campsite. They turned on the a/c for the bedroom and retreated with Sadie there. Now, I really don’t want to complain, but I was darned hot too! To make things even worse, there was a brownout for a short while.

Conni - 06-07-10

Drove the Jeep to Pagosa Springs, CO today. Nice drive, probably took about 3 hours or so roundtrip. Had been to Pagosa Springs before, but never on the highway we took. Very little population, a few cows here and there, and no wildlife. Low to mid-sized rolling hills. Enjoyable outing.

Conni - 06-06-10

This is such a nice place. Spending some time just sitting by the river. Bird watching’s pretty good here too. Saw our first American Goldfinch. Met some nice folks from Mesquite, TX. Made a campfire and roasted marshmallows, listening to the rushing river. Nice!

Figment - 06-05/07-10

Just sitting here facing the river. So nice they didn’t back me in and I actually get to see the best scenery this time. Thanks!
Saturday nite my Mama’s cooked out and had rib-eyes. Sure did look good. ‘Course it’s just diesel for me – thankfully, I like it a lot. Sunday nite they had hotdogs & marshmallows and cooked them on a nice fire right in front of me. I like it when I can see them enjoying themselves (and I’m included).

Conni - 06-04-10

Really nice place and super nice people. Just seeing it, we’ve already decided we’ll probably come back sometime in the future. Not too big and you can get spots right on the river. There’s a narrow-gauge railroad here similar to the one in Durango. We won’t be taking the ride though because of Sadie.

Figment - 06-04-10

Oh my, some climbing today. Not too bad though Mama Conni used 5th gear today, got down to 5:3 once. My puppies are tired for sure. We just came from Santa Fe to Chama, NM to a really neat place to stay. It’s called Sky Mountain Resort RV. Tonite we stayed in a spot just under the tree canopy. I heard that the next several nites we’ll spend in a spot just about 30 ft from the Rio Chama. I’m sure gonna like that.

Conni - 06-03-10

Oh wow! We went to Chocolate Maven for take-out dinner. What great food and, especially, desserts. Mary got desserts for 2 days. We first went here a year and a half ago with Gail & Shirley on a side-trip from the balloon festival in Albuquerque. Will gladly come again!

Figment - 06-03-10

Oh my God (nope, I don’t use all that shorthand typy stuff)!!!! Guess what I just saw for the first time??? Right in front of my face walks a beautiful fox. Yep, right on the campground road, right here in a very populated area in the edge of Santa Fe. My Mama’s are going nuts – ha!

Conni - 06-02-10

Drove to the square and walked around some and went into shops. Mary had Sadie in a front-pack so no one said anything. Then, we took a drive up into the hills just above the city and saw some nice places. Humidity really too low here for me though.
Mary bought some tamales today and we had them for dinner. Very good. Short and fat, not like ours. Also, a good bit hotter, but still very good.

Figment - 06-02-10

Well, they left me here in this nice campground and took my dingy, Mama Conni’s Jeep-Jeep, for a drive into the square in Santa Fe. They took Sadie too, so I was really all by myself. A couple of people rode by on their bikes and admired me. I’ll have to remember to tell my mama’s.

Figment - 06-01-10

Drove from Colorado Springs, CO to Santa Fe, NM today. Some of the drive was really pretty and some was pretty desolate, in my opinion. Funny, they’ve never even thought to ask my opinion. Guess I need to bring that up sometime.
Mama Conni was a little concerned about driving over Raton Pass, but I knew I’d do ok. She put me in 4th gear for the steepest grade and I trudged my way up, steady and slow. After that, she switched to 5th, which seemed to be a perfect match for the terrain.
Saw my very first antelope today!

Figment - 05-29-10

On the road again. We’re headed to Colorado Springs. I hear our plans have changed about going to Utah because a full-timer questioned driving over the Rockies. Today’s drive was very nice.
We’re in a campground close to Garden of the Gods and about 50-60 yards from Fountain Creek, which runs near the edge of the campground.
There was some kind of bad uh-oh that happened to Mama Mary at Garden of the Gods, but I guess she’ll need to tell about that. I know I saw blood when they got back. I heard, other than that, it was very pretty and they walked some trails and took pictures. Pike’s Peak is looming over that and our campground.

Figment - 05-28-10

Ah, a nice day of rest. I hear Mama Mary fussing about Internet connections and such, but for me, it’s pleasant with blue skies and a nice breeze. Most of my buddies hit the road fairly early this morning, but I’m not complaining.

Figment - 05-27-10

Good nite’s rest. I heard them say that we’re heading north again and then will begin going west on I-70. Wow, I’ve never seen miles and miles of wheat fields before. Very pretty. Llamas in waist deep grass, pretty cool. Man, hundreds of huge windmills. So many things I’ve never seen before. This is a pretty neat day. Spending the nite at a campground in Oakley, KS., birthplace of Buffalo Bill. This is truly the High Plains. Can’t believe the wind. At the RV park, they tell the owners not to use their awnings and they have a separate building where you can go play games, etc. to be out of the wind. We’ll be here 2 nites because Mama Mary is working remote tomorrow. A nice rest for me since I had to do some moderate climbing yesterday. Got down to 6:4th gear a few times. I heard we’ll be in Colorado Saturday, so I know more than moderate climbing is ahead. Hope Mama Conni is prepared.

Conni - 05-26-10

Well, today really tried my patience and Mary’s. We spent from 8:00 – 5:30 getting repairs done. Thankfully, the generator is under warranty, since it cost about $1500. We were glad it didn’t have to come out of our pockets. Bad time estimates just drove us crazy, but at least they found the part needed and we didn’t have to stay there another day.

Figment - 05-26-10

Seems nothing is working out too well for me. They fixed a drawer fastener and replaced a brake bulb, but the generator has to be repaired at Cummins.
At Cummins getting my generator fixed. This ended up taking 5 ½ hours and we thought it would only take about 2-3 hours. I was really happy to just sit still and rest my puppies for a while. I have a feeling that Mama Conni and Mama Mary are not as happy as I am.
Yep, I was really right about that. Should have heard them when I was finally ready to hit the road again. Not happy campers. Seems leaving on the far side of OKC at 5:30 is not good timing and I see we’re going right into rain. I’m confident I can handle it though.
Ah, they stopped and got them some supper to take to the campground. Bet this makes their mood better. We’re spending the nite near Guthrie, OK – the campground is surrounded on 3 sides by a pretty golf course. Nite-nite.

Figment - 05-25-10

Well, Mama Conni is heading me back towards home. Oops, we just passed home and stopped in Denton, TX at Camping World. Seems my generator has decided not to work. This is NOT my fault! We were only there for a few minutes as it was too late in the day for repair work. We’re now headed to OKC, where we’ll be ready for that generator work first thing in the morning at yet another Camping World.

Conni - 05-24-10

Conni – 05-24-10Elizabeth got out of the hospital today and all tests are showing good results. She & Sonie came by for a short visit at the campground. It was good to see Elizabeth feeling a little better, though still very tired. Of course, I know Figment was very pleased to have company.

Figment - 05-22-10

Figment  – 05-22-10We’re on the road again, heading to Huntsville, TX to visit friends, one of whom is in the hospital. It was a good trip and they cooled me off inside using my generator while they took turns visiting in the hospital.
Mama Conni took me to a campground a few miles away and we got all set up for a stay thru Monday. Both friends are doing pretty well and I’m proud I could be used as a comfort place while they weren’t visiting.

Figment - February 2010

Figment – February 2010 -
Guess I’ll catch you up on my name. Seems my mamas went on a trip to Florida way back when and really liked “Figment of Your Imagination” at Disney World. I hear they used to have a little Figment (a cute purple dragon) on the dashboard of their van. Now, years later, I got that special name
More later…………on down the road –

Figment Too - December 2009

My formal name is “Figment Too”, though my nickname is just “Figment.” More on that later….
I’m a 2008 Newmar coach (RV, motor home). Due to the recession (seemed a depression to me), I left my birthplace in Indiana and sat idly by at an RV dealership until they couldn’t hold on to me any longer. From there, I was temporarily placed at another dealership in Colleyville, TX. I went thru 2 long winters and summers waiting to get adopted, but finally in December 2009, I was saved by a great couple of Texas owners, Conni and Mary.
Now, I must state that this is my first go-round as an RV and a first ownership for them too. So, I’m sure the ride will be interesting. They came and checked me out several times, along with some of my cousins from Indiana. I smiled, grinned (of course I can!), put my best foot forward, and boasted my goodness as best I could. They checked my insides, outsides, top side, kicked the tires, verified cabinet space and sleeping arrangements. In the end, my wonderful personality and bells and whistles won them over with what I had to offer.
Next, they took me for a test drive at a nearby football stadium and I performed my best. Their best might have been questioned just a titch. Seems they weren’t used to my 38’ size. But, they learned to use my mirrors, rear and side cameras, and it didn’t take long before all three of us seemed to be pretty much in sync. This seemed to be the turning point for us all. A new adventure for them and a real home for me. 
More later…………on down the road –