Normally HH stays are one night only, but we were going to be coming through Pine Bluffs Wyoming on Monday and that is the one day of the week they are closed. We asked if we could stay both Monday and Tuesday and they replied “Absolutely, c’mon ahead”.
We pulled in late Monday afternoon, enjoyed an early evening dinner “on the veranda” with David and Susan, and let the hum of the fast moving every-thrity-minutes trains lull us to sleep.
On Tuesday – after our trip into Cheyenne to visit Messenger’s Old West Museum, we came back to the distillery to enjoy some product samples and take a tour of the operation.
KeeLee our Mixologist/Bartender was fantastic. She is so talented and loves to share her knowledge with the customers. Their whiskeys are all made from grain that’s grown ONLY on local farms by local farmers – they are truly a Farm to Table operation. They have seven different whiskeys and one vodka and they use; wheat, rye, barley, oat, (and I can’t remember the fifth grain!). Click this link to see all seven beautiful bottles.
KeeLee gave us all samples of their different whiskeys as she explained the differences and what we would notice about them and then took our orders. Kathy and I both had cocktails and we have to say they were “the best we’ve ever had” although if you know us at all you know we are not big drinkers. But indeed they were good!
Then Aaron took us on a tour of the operation and explained how everything worked.
They’ve been in business about 3 years. The owner (Chad) was a conservation officer in Nevada, newly married and ready to start a family. He knew that he didn’t want to stay in that career line. He moved to Wyoming to work with his cousin farming the land.
Although he had no experience as a distiller or brewmaster, he knew what he wanted to do. He did his research, developed agreements with local farmers for the grain as well as suppliers of other needed materials and equipment, developed a business and marketing plan, procured a few investors, bought the land, had the building built and started production. It was about a $3 million dollar investment.
We said goodnight to our hosts and retired to our rigs for the evening. Even though there is a Union Pacific train going through town every 30 minutes, (seriously!) we still managed to have a great night.
Thanks again for riding along. Stay safe and be good to yourselves and each other.
It’s been just 3 weeks since my total hip replacement surgery and the rehab is coming along great! I was able to set the walker aside after about 3 or 4 days and every day is better than the day before. If you’re really interested (maybe you’re considering having the surgery) you can read more about my recovery here.
So now we are set to head out from our daughter’s driveway here in Mt. Gilead, OH next Friday August 20th.
We’ve replaced the recliner in the coach with a new one. It takes less floor space, swivels, rocks, and reclines fully and is so much more comfortable than the leather one that came with the coach originally.
We also just had the entire coach washed and waxed. Normally this is a job that I do. I wash it about 5 or 6 times a year and wax it at least yearly. But this time since I am still recovering from my hip surgery, we were fortunate to find a mobile RV detailing service that came to the house and took care of the whole job in about 5 or 6 hours.
We had originally planned on leaving Ohio in early August and taking our time heading to Oregon visiting friends and family along the way and eventually ending up in Garibaldi Oregon to meet up with others from our Escapees RV Club at the Oregon Coast Hangout.
But a few things have changed. We are now going to our niece’s wedding in Michigan and that will not be until August 21st. This means that the rest of our trip will be delayed and if we were to still plan on getting to Oregon by Sept 6th we’d have to skip some of our other planned stops along the way.
Although we were looking forward to meeting up with about 30 other rigs at the Oregon Coast Hangout and seeing a part of the country we’ve never been to before and making new friends, we feel it’s more important to take the trip easy and instead stop along the way to renew old friendships.
We will start out on Friday August 20th and head up to Addison Oaks Campground in Michigan where we’ll stay for 2 nights while we attend our niece’s wedding and visit with family a bit.
We’ll next head a little west to spend a couple days with my sister and her husband. They live in Owosso, Michigan and while there we’ll be staying at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds. Betsy and Bob have a beautiful home with plenty of room for us but if you’re a full-time RV’er you can appreciate how we might be more comfortable staying in our own “home on wheels” and then we can just take the car over to their place for the day.
Our third stop for the next two days will be in the Ludington Michigan area. We will be staying at another Harvest Hosts location. We will be in the driveway of a local woodworking artist shop nestled deep in the woods. During the day we will be visiting our friends at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Park near Baldwin Michigan. We worked at PMO during the summers of 2017 and 2018. While there we’ll also hook up with a fellow high school graduate from 1972. I found out recently (on Facebook) that he and his wife just purchased a cottage on a lake just down the street from PMO. We’re also planning on spending some time with Kathy’s cousin Sue and husband Loren who live in the Traverse City are and who we haven’t seen in probably 20 years or more.
The next day will find us boarding the S.S. Badger car ferry and taking the 4 hour ride across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc Wisconsin where we’ll then meet up with our good friends Forrest and Mary who we know as our neighbors when we stay in Arizona at Rovers Roost. They are currently in Wisconsin visiting friends and family as well. We will spend the night at the Elks Lodge in Manitowoc.
Our next stop will be Forest City, Iowa. Forest City is the home of Winnebago Industries. Winnebago is one of the oldest camping trailer and motorhome manufacturers in the U.S. Paul and Chris, who we met while workamping in Livingston Texas in 2016 and have met up elsewhere in the country several times since then. Paul and Chris are in the process of selling the family farm and transitioning to full-time RV living and they’ll be at Winnebago Customer Service getting a few things done to their 40′ motorhome, so what better time for us to stop for a visit. Maybe we’ll get a factory tour while we’re there!
After spending a couple nights at Forest City, we’ll take a little detour off our “head west” trip and move on down to Holden Missouri, just southeast of Kansas City. Holden is the home of our friend Carl who is also a full-time RV’er and who we met on our Mexico caravan trip last winter. The three of us spent a lot of time together during that trip and really enjoyed each other’s company. Carl told us about the Miller Mausoleum that his grandfather had built and he had now inherited. An interesting story so we’re going to visit Carl, tour the historic mausoleum, and while we’re in the area we will also drive to Kansas City and spend a little time with friends Ron and Judy who we worked with at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in 2018.
After our time at Holden and KC, we’ll start heading back up through Omaha and Sioux Falls to get to Spearfish SD by about Sept 5th or so. Our good friends Matt and Sherry are working once again at DC Booth National Historic Fish Hatchery (where we worked with them in 2019) and we want to spend a couple days with them before they have to leave and head out to Louisiana and Florida for the winter where they’ll be volunteering at Barberville Pioneer Settlement.
That’ll get us through Labor Day at which point we will still have nearly two months before we want to get back to our RV lot at Rover’s Roost in Casa Grande Arizona by November 1st.
We have been in touch with our friends David and Sue (also neighbors at the Roost) who are currently volunteering at Custer State Park. Their gig will come to an end October 1st so it may be that we will caravan (only 2 rigs) around Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada before getting back to Arizona.
Who knows … we’ll just play it as we feel like it as time goes on. We don’t have to be anywhere before November 1st and if we get somewhere and decide we really like the area, then we’ll stay a while longer. If we don’t care for where we’re at, we can turn the key and head down the road a little further.
Until next time … take care of yourselves (and each other) – Be safe and we look forward to updating you a little later down the pike.
While Kathy and I were working (volunteering) at the USACE Fort Peck Montana Downstream Campground, we took a few days to visit Glacier National Park. Although we could have driven to the park, we decided it would be fun to take the Amtrak train.
The Amtrak Empire Builder runs daily from Chicago to Seattle and back again. The number 7 train runs westbound through Glasgow Montana at about noon daily and delivers to Whitefish (W. Glacier area) about 9pm.
The return (number 8 train) runs eastbound daily and departs Whitefish at 7:30am arriving back in Glasgow around 3:30pm.
Round trip tickets are $108 each, a rental car (2019 Chevy Malibu) cost us $35/day and the room at a nice new Best Western (w/ king bed, fridge, microwave) was $94/day. Although the trip by train is more than driving in our own car, the trip was far more relaxing and enjoyable.
Riding on the train allows you the opportunity to move around at will from your car to either the lounge car, the panorama view sightseeing car, or the formal dining car. They have sleeping cars too, but we didn’t have an opportunity to see those.
Remember, you can click on any of the thumbnails below to see an enlarged image
Renting the car (with unlimited mileage) we were able to drive just under 600 miles in 2 days seeing both West Glacier and East Glacier. We were not, unfortunately able to take the “Going to The Sun Road” all the way across from west to east because 22 miles of the road were still closed due to not being cleared of snow yet (this was the end of May!). As a result (as you’ll see in the video below) we had to take Route 2 the long way around the bottom of the park from one side to the other.
Thanks for riding along with us on our adventures. Soon after our Amtrak ride to Glacier (celebrating our 45th anniversary) we packed up our coach at Fort Peck and moved on east to our next Workamping/Volunteer gig at Spearfish, SD. Post on our experiences there follows shortly.
If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, you can easily do so by scrolling up to the top of any page and entering your email address in the block on the right side.
You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel (herbnkathyrv) on You Tube.
If you’re curious (at any time) to know where we are at that moment then click the button at the top right of this page labeled “See Where We Are Now“.
We’d love to hear from you. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, you can send us a note. Again, thanks for riding along. ’til next time – safe travels.
As members of the Escapees RV Club, Kathy and I attended our 2nd “Escapade” this past week. The first one we attended was in Essex Junction (Burlington area), Vermont back in summer of 2016. This year’s Escapade was in Tucson at the Pima County Fairgrounds.
The annual Escapade is held in different locations around the country. 2018 was in Sedalia, Missouri while next year’s event will be held in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Holding the rally in different locations allows club members in different areas of the country to attend without having to travel extreme distances.
The rally is an opportunity to; renew friendships with other travelers you haven’t seen in a long while, enjoy some great regional food, attend as many as 10 or 15 informational seminars scheduled over a 4 day period, visit the Marketplace where vendors of RV equipment and supplies display and sell their products, take a tour of nearly 100 new and used RV’s on the lot, and attendees can even volunteer as shuttle cart drivers, hospitality hosts, parking attendants, morning coffee crew members, and lots of other opportunities.
Here are some pictures of various parts of the event. We took over the Pima County Fairgrounds with 830 recreational vehicles (RV’s) and just about 2500 attendees.
As usual, if you click on any of the individual pictures below, it will open into a larger image so you can see more detail.
Here’s a couple videos of the evening entertainment. This evening’s video features “The American Rogues” (Sorry the audio is not nearly as impressive as it was at the live presentation). You could feel the drums beating and the rafters shaking.
Here’s a video of the “Redhead Express” – and 5 of these 6 band members are siblings!
Thanks for coming along. We are blessed to be able to live the full-time RV lifestyle and we hope you enjoy riding along with us on our adventures.
During one of our days off duty at The Big Tent RV Show, we took a road trip up to (and across) Parker Dam, Lake Havasu, and Bullhead City.
We started the trip taking State Route 95 straight north out of Quartzsite and crossing the state line at the town of Parker. On up 95 a few miles we crossed the Parker Dam back into Arizona. Thank goodness as gasoline in California is about $2 per gallon higher than in Arizona!
Our friends and co-workers Paul & Chris went with us and we enjoyed the day together. Driving as far as we did gave us a lot of time to talk and catch up on each others travels.
Parker Dam crosses the Colorado River and was built in 1942. You can see some of the Art Deco architecture in the design of the dam.
(taken from Nat Park Service web site) ” What you see is not what you get at Parker Dam, known as “the deepest dam in the world.” Engineers, digging for bedrock on which to build, had to excavate so far beneath the bed of the Colorado River that 73 percent of Parker Dam’s 320-foot structural height is not visible. Its reservoir, Lake Havasu, is a different matter. Its deep blue water stretches for 45 miles behind the dam, creating an oasis in the Arizona desert. Gracing the shore at Lake Havasu City is the historic London Bridge, reconstructed brick by brick in 1971 and adding to the city’s claim as “Arizona’s playground.”
Click on any of the images below to open a larger view
We continued on up (the Arizona side) State Route 95 and made a quick stop at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. Kathy and I had stopped here a couple years ago and wanted to give Paul & Chris a chance to see it as well. The Refuge is huge, but the part that’s easiest to see is a small peninsula into the river. The peninsula has shade shelters with benches so you can use your binoculars to see all the water fowl that lives in the habitat. The nightfall pictures below are from our stop on the way back home from Lake Havasu and Bullhead City.
Click on any of the images below to open a larger view.
Our next stop was Lake Havasu City. We kept this portion of the trip short, we just visited the London Bridge, grabbed a bite to eat at a local cafe and then back on the road. (Thanks Paul & Chris for buying our lunch!)
This is THE original London Bridge, moved to Lake Havasu City from London back in 1968 by Robert McCulloch. Find out all the details of the moving of the bridge at this link. It doesn’t cost anything to park in the lot and walk along the water’s edge. It must cost the store operators an arm and a leg in rent to have a storefront at the foot of the bridge. There is a small island on the far side of the bridge where there are residential units, restaurants, and more shopping.
Next stop on the trip … Bullhead City. We purposely made the drive on up the road to Bullhead City to have a brief visit with Rob & Michelle. Kathy and I met Rob & Michelle when we were workamping at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Park in Michigan in summer of ’18. We spent the day with them in the Tucson area a month or so ago and wanted to stop in and say “Hi” and introduced them to Paul & Chris — you never know when they might have the opportunity to cross paths again.
Unfortunately, I FORGOT to get ANY pictures of Rob & Michelle or their beautiful RV site looking toward Spirit Mountain on this trip! So here’s one I stole off Michelle’s Facebook page..
Thanks for riding along … we look forward to spending time with you again soon!
We just returned to our winter home at Rover’s Roost SKP RV Park in Casa Grande, AZ after spending a “mostly” wonderful 10 days or so at Quartzsite.
What’s Quartzsite you ask? Quartzsite is a small town in the western Arizona desert, only about 15 miles or so from Blythe, California. Quartzsite (during the summer) is a sleepy little town of about 3000 people. But WATCH OUT! Because when winter arrives, the town and surrounding desert lands explode with RV’ers and Van Campers and all sorts of folks from all over the country.
The population in the winter goes from about 3000 up to 300,000 or more as folks show up to attend one or more of the many shows that take place. You have the Big Tent RV Show, Gem show, Rock Show, Jewelry Show, and on-going Flea Market(s) over the winter months.
The show officially started on Saturday January 19th although we arrived early on Tuesday the 15th to an area in the desert about 6 miles north of Quartzsite known as “Boomerville”. Boomerville is an unofficial area off the north side of Plamosa Road where about 500-600 Escapee (baby boomers) meet each year at Q to renew old friendships.
It was a crappy cold and rainy day and our good friends Paul and Chris arrived from Yuma with a flat tire on their motorhome.
Thankfully, Paul & Chris had subscribed to the Escapee Roadside Assistance program and the repairman (with a trailer full of tools) was out to the site within about an hour or so.
While the repairmen were working on replacing the tire, the rest of us gathered in Walter & Rebecca’s rig. We had all met for the first time in Livingston, TX back in December of 2017 and it was great to spend time together again.
The following morning we (the 5 couples working together in the club booth) moved on down the road to the site of the “Big Tent” where we would be working over the next 10 days or so.
The parking area filled up quickly with vendor’s rigs. There were nearly 500 vendor booths inside the tent along with dozens more outside selling everything from new and used RV’s to generators, cell phones, satellite TV systems, RV park spaces, accessories, personal health and beauty aids, leather goods, jewelry, and TONS more.
We were fortunate to have 5 couples working the booth and we all had a great time getting to know one another. We had at least 3 pot luck dinners.
Robyn and Larry live in New Mexico and will be retiring and transitioning to full time RV life in May while Dennis and Connie from the Cincinnati area along with Rob and Laura from Indianapolis and Kathy and me (from Ohio) are full timers. Paul and Chris still live on the family farm in Iowa during the summers and travel extensively during the winters. Our fearless leaders Jim and Lisa are both retired but working again for the club as leaders of the RV Show Teams and of the club Head Out Programs (Caravans/Cruises/Bus Tours). Believe me, with their hectic schedule, they are FAR from being retired!
Click on any of the images in the gallery below to see a larger view
As we’ve said before … traveling the country and seeing all the beautiful landscape is rewarding enough, but the big reward is meeting all the new folks and developing such great new friendships. We so look forward to our next opportunity to meet up on down the road.
We worked the booth selling new memberships, we walked the tent looking at all the many vendors had to offer, we spent too much money buying “stuff” (which we can talk about later), and we had a great time over numerous dinners laughing and sharing stories.
All in all, it was a GREAT trip and a wonderful experience. Only the first day was a bummer due to the bad weather and Paul & Chris’ flat tire.
If you’re an Escapee RV Club member and you’d like to work one of the RV shows across the country, reach out to Lisa (you know who she is). If you’re an RV’er and you’re NOT an Escapee … come on along and join us! Here’s the link – it’s a great RV club … and so much more. It’ll be the best $39.95 you’ve spent in a LONG time! (psss – tell ’em Herb n Kathy sent you)
Thanks for following along on the ride .. more to come about our other adventures later and we look forward to meeting up with you somewhere along the way!
The Saguaro Cactus (pronounced Sawarro) is the largest of the cactus family and can live to be 150-200 years old. These are found in The Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico and occasionally in southern California.
These cactus have one tap root that only goes down about 2 feet or so and other roots that spread out just below the surface and spread out as far as the plant is tall. Although a 10 year old plant might only be about 1″-2″ tall, they can grow to be 40-60 feet tall and sprout their first “arm” at about 150 years old.
The Saguaro get most of their moisture during the summer rainy season and can end up weighing between 3000-5000 pounds. Arizona has strict regulations about harvesting or collecting Saguaro.
Once a Saguaro dies, the woody ribs can be used to build furniture, roofs, or fences.
We hopped in the car and took a day trip down from our winter home at Rover’s Roost RV Park to visit the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, the Saguaro National Forest and maybe the International Wildlife Museum.
We headed down I-10 and entered the Saguaro National Forest from the north. Although the visitor center was closed due to the federal government shutdown, the park/forest was open and we could wander all we wanted.
As usual, you can click on any of the thumbnails below to see an enlarged view and then you can scroll right or left to see the next picture.
There’s so much to see … even though we’re not hikers. And there’s many other types of cactus growing in this region besides the Saguaro. Some of it is even flowering now in the midst of winter when generally this happens in the spring.
We then drove on down the road a bit to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. But as it turned out, the entrance fee was $25 each and we were already half way through the day. We decided that for that price we had better come back another day to be able to take advantage of all the museum has to offer. We’ve heard lots of great comments from friends who have been there and want to be able to get our money’s worth.
Lunch is always a highlight of my day and this one was no exception. At the south end of the park trail is a nice little cafe called “Coyote Pause Cafe”.
After a late lunch we moved on down the road a little further to the International Wildlife Museum on Gates Pass Road. Although this museum costs only $7 each to get in, it was getting into mid-afternoon and we wanted to hit the road (I-10) before the Tucson rush hour traffic.
We’ll come back another day here too. But at least now we know what we want to see and where it is.
Thanks for coming along and be sure to sign up to get our future blog posts automatically by entering your email address in the little box on the left side where it says “Sign Up To Follow Our Blog”.
You can check out all our RV full-time travel videos at herbnkathyrv on You Tube and click SUBSCRIBE down in the lower right corner of any of our videos.
We were through this area a couple years ago and stayed at the Escapees “North Ranch” RV Park at Lakewood, NM and took the opportunity to visit Carlsbad Caverns, but our schedule at that time didn’t allow for a trip to Roswell.
So this time (after ABQ Balloon Fiesta and RV rallies at Wellington and Brownwood, TX) we decided to take in Roswell and it’s surroundings for a couple of days.
We “dry camped” just about 12 miles due east of Roswell at Bottomless Lakes State Park. Dry camping means there are no hook-ups for electricity or water (fresh or waste). We bring along our own electricity and water so dry camping for a week or so is not a problem for us.
When we pulled in and reviewed the sites available, we decided to camp at “The Devil’s Inkwell”. We backed the coach into a nice wide spot where we could take a walk up the hill and look down into the “inkwell” and over our site to the western setting sun. A beautiful and quiet spot.
The “Bottomless Lakes” are really giant sinkholes. There are a number of them in the park ranging from 17′ to about 90′ deep. The water is crystal clear and while some of the water is great for aquatic life, some of the other lakes are too high in saline (salt water) for anything to live there.
After our first night there, we moved our rig from Devil’s Inkwell over to Lea Lake Day Use area. This gave us a great view of the lake and although there were other campers in the area, no one was closer than a couple hundred feet.
And of course, who could visit the Roswell area without trying to connect with an alien or two?
We ended our 2nd evening with a “night out” to the Cattle Baron Restaurant. We split a Teriyaki Kabob and each enjoyed their salad bar. What a great meal!
We could’ve just driven on westward toward our final destination, but being this close we figured we just had to stop and see the sights at Roswell. It was worth the time to see not just the alien novelties, but the park was beautiful and restful.
We had a severe rain and wind storm a couple nights ago here at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Resort near Baldwin, Michigan. We knew it was coming and went around the RV park to warn folks and tell them to take in their awnings and secure any lightweight items like plastic chairs and such.
The newscast said winds would be about 50-60 mph so we were expecting it, but it came up SO FAST!
Kathy was out just as the storm was moving into the area. She was directing the ladies that were arriving to the clubhouse for the Ladies Golf Outing Dinner – showing them where they could park.
Sara and I went over to the pavilion to watch the storm – she and I always use to enjoy sitting on the porch or out in the garage watching a good storm – the more thunder and lightning the better.
Just as Kathy’s parking duties were done, she walked over to join us at the pavilion and then it hit – and the power went out. Good thing the ladies dinner was a pot-luck and the clubhouse has plenty of windows!
The video shows how strong the wind was, although it seemed a LOT worse there in person than it does on the video. They say a picture is worth a thousand words … and these new digital cameras are amazing but still, they just don’t show the true enormity or depth of the experience in person.
The power was out from Tuesday about 7 pm when the storm hit and power was restored Wednesday night about 10:30. Since the park has well water, no power meant no running water either. Many of us keep some water in our fresh water holding tank so we could shower and use the commode, but had to make sure our gray and black water holding tank valves were closed so that nothing went into the park sewer system. If the power is out, then the sewer system pumps don’t work either. Others took advantage of the 5 gallon buckets placed at the swimming pool so they could carry pool water back to their units so they could flush the commode.
I was told that one individual even took a bucket of water from the hot tub (still warm) to shower at the shower outside the bath house!
After the storm, many hands made light work as we cut up tree limbs and removed the debris down to “the pit” where it’ll all be burned during the winter when there’s no chance of starting a forest fire.
It’s all over now, but was plenty of excitement while it lasted and some sore backs and leg muscles after the cleanup was all done.
Many thanks to all that helped.
And now on to the Labor Day weekend festivities !!