Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Doing a little catch up

July 17th. Wrap up of the last few weeks. For those of you asking where we are located.
Currently sitting right about here: Link Location or just copy and paste into a browser: 41.642859,-88.624134 .

We have found this to be an ideal location for visiting family
Things have been quite around the family so, on July 10th, we headed to Indianapolis for an overnight stay, than go in on Tuesday into the Indiana Fair Grounds. The FMCA rally started on July 12th to the 15th with leaving the fair grounds on Sunday the 16th.

We found the FMCA rally to be fun and provide a good source of information. We learned of the various programs FMCA has made available to us, the RVer on the road. Whether we full time or part time, FMCA has something for you.

Now while we were there, we knew our awning would not last, and due to the placement of the slide rail water was pooling on top of the slide out, making it necessary to retract the slide during the rain.

Reading the installation manual I notice instructions for the location of the slide rail. Manual says min., 2 inches above the top of the awning roller; this provides the angle for the water to run down and off the side of the slide out. Ours was even; this allowed the pooling of water on the material.

I saw a Shade Pro truck, and ask the gentleman to come over and quote and look at the angle. He notice right away the incorrect angle. With Susan in charge, she indicated she wanted similar material as on our main awning and color. Cole showed her the same material and color, which she agreed to, he gave us a rough price of $800 to $900, and said he could do it the next day.

At around 10am Cole arrived and I help remove and install new side rails (310 inches long) at a new height and material. The slide awning material is now tight and at a good angle for the water to run down and off, keeping most if not all the water off the roof of the awning. I just want to state, that we, Rver's do not need to keep the same vinyl on our awning. The new awning material matches our current awning material and color.
When all was said and done the total cost was $785 complete. 

Also while we were traveling down the road, the usual happen in a town called  Forest, Il., or right at this address: 899 N Center St, Forrest, IL 61741.

Susan pulled over to allow the girls to take a walk and switch drivers, as we went outside, we both heard this noise, well Susan heard it, but I did something about it. Shutting down the engine. After a few minutes of looking, I saw a shredded serpentine belt, or at least 4 ribs of the belt was missing. As luck would have it, a business called TCS trucks was 50 yards away. So, off I went to talk to them and see what could be done. Do you know, even though they did not have a belt, they worked until they found a belt 10 minutes away at a NAPA store. Who cares that NAPA is the most expensive place to buy one, they worked hard to help out.

So, off we went, bought 2 different sizes, 1 smaller - 1 larger than the size called out, and back we went. Once back, they made room for me to back up into a bay and 35 minutes later and $55, less, we were back on the road. Now of course, the Horton Fan Clutch cable got broken, but hey all that does is continue to run at high speed.

Sorry for no photos but hey were we off and Susan asked me did you ever order the spare items you needed?  Well I had to say no. You see the belt from NAPA was over $75, and the belts she ordered was $10 each. But hey she got to do the happy dance. 

Oh before I forget, that week was the most expensive week we ever had, and why ? 
Well we picked up a 2015 Ford F-150 with less than 15,000 miles, 

and then we needed to set it up for towing:

So, all in all it was very costly for Susan, just so I could have a new toy, to play with.

Anyway, here are a few additional photos of our time at the FMCA rally:

Safe Travels fro Dakota, Tilly, Susan and me.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rural America or Traveling the Santa Fe Trail

Ok, so what did we do ? We were doing so well, floating along. With all intents and purposes staying in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. With a little bit of Utah.

Now you may also be wondering just what the heck are you guys doing?

Weather was looking ok, nothing DaGirls could not handle. So, there we were just west of Kansas. So, why not cross into Ks., and then back out. We could dip in, head east a little bit and then head back. So what happen ? Well the weather for one, temperature, jumping into the high 90's. Then the wind, decide to play along with the temperature. Speeds reached in the mid 20's to 30's mph for over a week.

So, after a short 150 miles into Kansas, when the weather and wind hit, we decided to see if maybe, we could locate a place to stay awhile.

Using a few of our Web Sites for camp sites:

using these to sites we located a county fair ground inside of Garden City. With 50 amps, water near by and a common dump, all for $20 a night.

When we arrived, we just happen to run into the last week of Beef Empire Days. 

Well it seems, Garden city has a month long celebration, and at the end, they have a parade down main street, and we just happen to be parked across from the staging area. So, what did we do ? Gathered our chairs, and Dakota and Tilly and headed out to the main drag and watch the parade go by.

While here we visited the Zoo, the local museum (all for free), and saw some of the local sights.

Lee Richardson Zoo

Just across the street, where we were staying was the Arkansas river, which we traveled next to in Colorado. What an amazing river in Colorado, flowing wild, fast down the mountains. 

I was amazed as to how much water there was. That is, until we were in Kansas, I remarked, where did the water go. The river was empty. NaDa, zip, no water, what a waste, just which state took it all. That's another question and answer for a different time.

Little did we realize our little foray would lead us to many small towns. Some of which dated back to the mid to late 1800's.

Well it seem that the Hwy we were traveling on, Hwy 56, was better know as part of the Santa Fe Trail. Yep you read it correctly, Santa Fe Trail, where the big names, John Wayne, Ward Bond and many others herded cattle from Texas to New Mexico and beyond.

So, we continued to look around to see where we could find a unique place to see and lay low during this weather. What we found was a small Kansas city called Ellinwood. Where we found 2 camping areas, one with 50 amps (4 sites with 2 permeant), the other with 30 amps with 6 sites. Water at both places, but no dump, which we did not need.

What makes this a very unique city / place ? Ellinwood, was settled by Mennonites from the western side Germany. See, they came because of the promised of good land, and good weather and all the other crap. Well that was a big joke, as they soon settled they learned what a load of crap they had been sold. You see it gets really cold and really hot, in Kansas. So, what they did was build just like in Germany. Sidewalks under sidewalks, what you say? Well under each store they would build basements with doors leading to a hall way that went from 1 business to the other. This was done on both sides of main street. There were also connecting tunnels / hallways to each side of the street, with an interconnecting one to the train station. So, whether it was hot or cold, they were very comfortable. Later shops were opened underground, where no respectable lady would be allowed to enter. You see Ellinwood, was on the Santa Fe Trail. Underground is where the cow pokes went to get clean up or cleaned out, whichever came first.

We decided since we were in the middle of Kansas between 2 major highways, 1 North and the other South, it would be a shame not to visit other small cities in Kansas.

I do believe this is the very first time (Except for Canada & Alaska), that we have spent so much time traveling only 50 to 75 miles a trip. Staying so long in an area. Alaska and Canada  really do not count as they are way larger than Kansas. So, here we are stopping every now and then, a city park here, county fairground park there, and even a few Corp of Engineers campgrounds.

So, what are we going to call this small trip ?

Rural America – Seeing what America is really all about. 

Here are just a few photos of Rural America as we traveled down Highway 56.

Where we traveled thru cities called: Garden City, Great Bend, Ellinwood, Council Grove, Osage, Hillsboro, Melvern, and Fort Scott.

Along the way, we visited sites titled: Eisenhower Presidential Library, Fort Larned, Fort Scott.

Watched 2 parades: Garden City and Council Grove. 

Stayed in 3 Corp of Engineers Camp Grounds.

Now for a Complete map of our travels, (Dump, Gas, Overnight stops, Sites), you can press the link:

2017 Summer Travels with DaGirls   

Additional Photos 

Ellinwood, Ks

Rural America 

Council Grove

Dakota & Tilly DaGirls Rv
Safe Travels and Journeys