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Busted Flat in A….B….Q, verse 2

There has been a lot of road between our first visit to Albuquerque and our recent  visit.  As you can recall we lost the two slide toppers and decided to leave them in Albuquerque and continue the trip and have them replaced when we passed through Albuquerque again. We arrived in Albuquerque on on Monday Sept. 1, 2014. The RV Store was closed so we spent the night at the KOA just across the street. Rising early the next morning I went out to unhook the rig and get us on the way. Peggy came out and asked me “What is that giant oil spill under the motorhome?”  Looking, I then said ” That’s not oil, it must be water from the AC. Peggy (Or as I know her “Our Lady of The Worst News Ever!”) then said, “no its oil from the engine, we have to replace the engine. Thats just GREAT!” Of course, I then stuck my finger into it and found she was indeed WRONG, it was hydraulic fluid…..crap. As I brought in the large wing, the pump had spilled its guts all over the ground.  Good news was it held out till Albuquerque and we were on our way to the RV repair shop.

While we waited for the repairs, we had a great visit in Albuquerque. Mom had a get together at her house and we got to catch up on news and the adorable nieces.

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The New Mexico State Fair had just opened so off we went for the sights and of course, Navajo Fry Bread and Navajo Tacos. Could these two little guys be more adorable?

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Great indian oven, and if anyone knows where I can purchase this dinosaur costume, let me know. I’ve got great plans for Halloween.

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A quick trip over to my sister Carol’s new house. Very cute!

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Finally, at the Fair, the New Mexico DOT had a simulator for driving a semi, Peggy not only had fun, she did a really good job. I prefer to not talk about my performance.

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In the end it took 2 weeks to get the motorhome fixed and cost a little over $3000.00. Got to hurry home and put Peggy to work paying off these credit cards!

Viva Las Vegas!

Arrived safely in Las Vegas on Sunday August 24, 2014 we intended to stay for 5 days, but the campground at Circus Circus was offering a deal of “Stay 5 days get 2 days free”. So we stayed the week. Sad news about the Circus Circus campgrounds, they will be closing as of September 30, 2014. Bought out by MGM they will be putting something other than a campground. The Circus Circus campground is extremely large, and it has very little landscaping. We however really lucked out on this trip by getting a really nice site. The first picture is of the Jeep with the top off, and how most of the campsite looks.  The second picture is our spot! A large corner spot with several large trees and a patio. The camper was in the shade for nearly half the day.

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One of the reasons we were so happy to have the camper in the shade. The Jeep was in the shade when the temp. hit 105!

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Got the camper hooked up, both airs running and off we went to the old strip.

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Later that day I took the roof and doors off the jeep so we could cruise the strip after dark.

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The strip after dark was a blast. The temp. had finally cooled down to the low 100’s!

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Of course, Peggy had to test her luck at the Bellagio.

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The water show outside the Bellagio is still stunning.

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The nest day we went to Mandalay Bay resort to see the Shark Reef aquarium. Thanks Kelley for the tickets! It was great.

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I checked to see if they had any shark experience dives available. I was thinking it would be something like Epcot at Disney. Disney costs about $120.00 which is pricey by reasonable. The price to dive at Mandalay Bay is $650.00 for one or a cool grand for 2. Yikes! No diving in Vegas for us.

Sequoia National Park……….what a treasure!

Both Peggy and I had thought we were just about National Parked out. How many breathtaking views can one see without becoming just a little tired of it all. Then we went to Sequoia. The trees in this park are beyond both words and photos. Fortunately for me I had just recently purchased a wide angle lens for the camera and it helped capture the trees a little.  But (as in all thing) the photos do very little justice to the true splendor of the Sequoia’s.

The entrance to the park

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Does this tree make my Jeep look small?

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Of course we had to see the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on the planet.

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Its so hard to capture the size and beauty of these trees.

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On the road back to the campgrounds we saw both a pomegranate and an olive orchard.

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Of course we had to sample some of the olives.

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The are not ripe and tasted NASTY!

Our next stop will be Las Vegas. We will be staying at Circus Circus RV Resort for a week and hope to win enough to cover the fuel costs for this trip………I’ll let you know.

Yosemite was breathtaking.

We’ve arrived in central California having spent the last couple of days wandering around Yosemite National Park. The park is expansive and really needed more than a couple of days to do it justice, but Peggy and I are just about Parked Out! Many of the sights are only accessible by quite a hike. We did a couple but drove the Jeep to the others.

 

The entrance to Yosemite, El Capitan and some mountain behind her.

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El Capitan by itself.

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Half Dome as viewed from Glacier point.

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This is the switch-back road up to Glacier point. The edges are unforgiving and the incline remarkably steep. Sarge (the Jeep) was fantastic! Quick and light he handled the road like a champ.

 

 

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The old man, and a waterfall. Half Dome can be seen in the distance.

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AND then there was the adventure of our trip down from our campsight in-route to our next destination…. Sequoia National Forest. To get an understanding of the road, take a look at the GPS shot Peggy took. A motorhome nearly 40 feet long, towing a Jeep, really had to work to make it around some of the VERY tight turns. Now, this was the trip up, it was difficult and taxing but uneventful. The trip DOWN, on the other hand, was a different story.

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About 1/4 of the way back down the mountain the check engine light came on the motorhome and it would not rev above 2000 RPM. Going down hill, that was not much of a problem, but anytime there was an incline in the road the motorhome was climbing at about 10 MPH. There were turnouts available to let other vehicles pass, but I was somewhat concerned as to whether I could get going again if I stopped. The last time the motorhome had behaved in this way, it had been a fuel filter and I had the mechanic who replaced it give me a tutorial on the process. So as soon as I worked up the courage, I pulled over at a turnout and attempted the repair. I had a new filter, a bottle of diesel to prime the filter and the tools. I said a quick prayer to be granted the talent and attempted to replaced the filter. Success! The engine started on the first attempt there were no leaks on the filter and he ran smoothly. Ran smoothly up until I attempted to rev it above 2000 RPM! Son of A………, the fuel filter was NOT the problem. Our cell phones had zero bars and although one kind soul in a Ford “Power” something had pulled over to tell me he would’ve helped if I was driving a real truck, we were on our own. SO…………..down the mountain we went. Hauling butt down hill and crawling back up. We safely arrived in a little ghost town called Coulterville. I walked up the street into the Post Office and asked the nice lady working the counter if there were any diesel mechanics in town. She dialed up Chris and asked him if he was working today. Luckily Chris was “working” and after a couple of questions on the phone he advised that the engine was in “Limp” mode (an apt description) and for a small sum he would clear the codes to allow me to Un-Limp into a Chevy dealer.

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Chris turned out to be great. He reset the computer and it didn’t take. Some work under the hood reveled the “Absolute Manifold Pressure Sensor” had come unplugged due to a broken plug. I produced a Zip tie and we locked it into place. Chris remarked that I seemed to be properly equipped with all the tools necessary for most on the road repairs. I told him I was equipped with everything except talent. After that the motorhome ran flawlessly and we arrived safely just outside Sequoia National Forest.

“Coldest winter I ever spent, was a summer in San Francisco”

Peggy and I can both agree with Mr. Twain when he made that statement. It has been windy, foggy and just plain cold here. But, the sights and sounds of San Francisco have been incredible and well worth the chill. The trip into the bay area was a real test of the skills I have gained over this long summer driving. The roads are crappy and the traffic intense, but we made it safely to the Candlestick RV Resort.

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The Candlestick RV Resort is the most expensive place we have stayed on this trip. I supposed its only because of “location,location,location”. Its simply a parking lot with elect/water/sewer run to each spot. On the other hand we are less than three miles from everything and have been having a blast. While in the campground a tour company from Germany came in for a couple of days. It is the Rotel Tours group and they have a very interesting tour bus and program. The bus has sleeping quarters which are 3 ft wide 3 ft tall and 6 ft long. They provide breakfast and dinner and the costs are supposed to be very reasonable. Below are a couple of shots of the bus.  Looks like a blast!

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Our trip to Alcatraz was great! The boat trip was quick and the views were remarkable!

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Inside was a little different! To tell the truth, it reminded me of boot camp. Kinda smelled the same. The two convicts below are still doing hard time.

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The views off the island were hard to capture, but were stunning.

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We took the Hop On Hop Off bus around the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Around the city, China Town and Fisherman’s Wharf.

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San Francisco has been a great stop, and well worth the drive in.

Just North of San Francisco

After we left Seattle it was our intent to travel at a fairly brisk pace to reach San Francisco as soon as possible. First off there is a lot to do in the area, and secondly we have reservations for a night ghost tour of Alcatraz. I called the tour operator to see if we could push the reservation a week (and take our time getting to San Francisco) only to be told that the next available slot was September. So, down to the bay area we went. We made very good time and it looked like we could get into San Francisco a full day early. Most of the campgrounds we have camped at on this adventure we have simply showed up and they have had space available. The next campground is in San Francisco itself and I was a little unwilling to tackle that traffic AND take the chance there was no space available. So, I called Candlestick RV Resort and was informed that they were overbook for the night. It seems Sir Paul McCartney decided to have his ” Out There” concert at Candlestick Park directly across the street from the campgrounds on the very evening I was attempting to get in! Needless to say, I’ve called his press agent to let them know how I feel about this inconvenience but have yet to receive a call back.

The drive down was beautiful!

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As we were working our way up through the mountains the fog became quite thick.

Going            Going                                  Gone!

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As we worked our way down the other side of the mountains the fog began to lift only to be replaced by smoke from the fires!

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The rest of the trip was uneventful and we are now about an hour and a half from our San Francisco campground.

The picture below is a personal request from Sebastian back in Florida. Kelley and the boys are watching Bryan’s boxer for a while and he would like to share the picture with everyone.

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As Sebe would say, “Thank you for your time”!

 

Alone Again………….Naturally

Early this morning was spent getting the boys off to Florida. A 0800 departure out of SeaTac airport meant that we were up at 0430 and heading to the airport by 0530. As they were unaccompanied minors we had to utilize a “special line”, a line mostly occupied by divorced parents sending kids back and forth across the country.

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The trip through security was quick and uneventful, we didn’t remove our shoes, they had no problem with Christian’s fly rod or tackle. It was actually so quick we had time for a sit down breakfast!

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Then it was off to the gate to wait for boarding.

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As unaccompanied minors, the boys got to board first. They liked that.

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And then they were gone. Very excited to be heading home, they had a unbelievable summer and Peggy and I are forever thankful to their Mother for letting us take them.

Later in the day, off we went to Gavin’s (my youngest brother). The drive is a little under an hour from where were camping. Mom has flown in to visit Gavin for a week or so and it was great to visit. My niece, Jessica, and her husband , Brian, are now living in the area so they also dropped by for a small family reunion.

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Gavin introduced us to his children.

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And Peggy and I got to meet Jessica’s little boy Ten.

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The conclusion of the evening was topped off by Gavin with his Christmas Tree light show. The pictures will do NO justice to the actual show itself. It was amazing! The only way I can express how incredible the show was is to say it was (without any exaggeration ) a Disney quality light show. Hats off to Gavin.

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Sleeping in Seattle

Seattle will be the final stop for the boys, tomorrow (August 10, 2014) they will fly home. Non-stop SEA-MCO. They are both very excited to be going home, and a little sad for the big adventure to be over. The trip took them from Daytona Beach to Albuquerque, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Calgary, Valdez, Anchorage, Homer, Denali, Fairbanks, Arctic Circle and then down to Seattle (not to mention all the stops between). Just shy of 10,000 miles over a summer! Its been a wonderful adventure for all of us, and although the boys will be heading home, Peggy and I are not! Off we go on our own! We will be leaving Seattle on the 12th and heading for San Francisco. The boys have asked that we keep the blog ongoing so they can keep up with us and we will do as they ask. Yesterday we did the downtown Seattle trip. We purchased tickets on the Emerald City Trolly a hop-on/hop-off bus. Seattle is a hilly, fun city! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA From the only parking lot we could find, to the Seattle Needle was about 3 miles. Fortunately three was a monorail which made the trip a breeze.

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The wait to get on the eye was about 3 hours, so we bought tickets that gave you a be back time and found a McDonalds for lunch.

 

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The next stop was famous Pike Place Market. It was packed with people, I would however brave the crowds if I lived here and shop every chance I could. Anything you need you can find there. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Check out the fish, Christian had a heart attack when he found out that these fish were caught in the local area, and that we were not going fishing while here!

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Today i am posting my last blog sadly and happily. Happily because i can finally see my new room, (thanks to my momma) i get to see my momma, my step dad, my friends, and especially my doggies (skye and maxwell). I will miss it though because the fishing is FAR better, it is FAR more beautiful, our memaw and papa will be gone,and school will start soon after we get back.  I don’t really have anything else to say but good by and at the same time hello.        😛   bye hi   🙂

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Hello. Can I be Done?! go to link “No” Fine. Apparently, I can’t be done. What? You heard me? Well, ok then. I don’t have much to say, so let’s just let the picture say it all.

Picture: Hello there. As you can see, Sebastian is at the Seattle Space Needle at that moment. I, myself, cannot tell you much more. Maybe Sebastian can.

Nope. Nuh-Uh. orlistat 120mg online NOT happening. Thus, I must go. HOWEVER, I must do 1 thing first: something.

Thank you for your time, and I (might) see you tomorrow!

(Papa told me to say something.)

A quick trip to Mt. St. Helens

On our final day in Whidby Island Washington we took a trip over to the coast of the island and to a old military installation called Ft. Ebey State Park. Ft. Ebey was originally built as a coastal defense fort in World War II. Concrete platforms make up the gun locations. All the support structure has been emptied out and its a large dark, cold maze.  The boys had a blast trying to scare each other in the dark!

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Of course the boys had to also climb over all the guns and fortifications.

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We departed Whidby Island for Mt. St. Helens the next morning. We got all settled in and then early the following day off we went to the volcano itself.  On the trip up we stopped at the learning center where they had a fantastic “hands on” science center for the boys.

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They even had a helicopter mock up.

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The weather was overcast with low ceiling that morning, we were afraid the mountain was going to remain in the clouds all day but after we arrived things began to clear up.

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It was windy and cool up on the mountain, the elevation was a little over 4000 ft.  The trees were simply blasted out of the ground, and I couldn’t help myself when the ground squirrel posed for the camera.

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On the trip back to the campground, we stopped twice for Bigfoot. “The Bigfoot” hamburger and for the big guy himself.

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Thank god I wasn’t alive during 1980! Thats when the volcano blew its top! And thank god I am alive now. You know, to collect samples of volcanic ash and all. UGH. Writer’s block sucks. So, thus, I shall go.

Thank you for your time.

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Today, we saw Mt. St. Helens and got a little tour. What Sebastian means by he is glad that he wasn’t alive during 1980 is that Mt. St. helen erupted in that year. Also only 4 more days until we come home. Love you mom and see you soon everybody.        😛   bye   🙂

We’re back in the USA

It was a quick dash through Canada to get back to the USA. WiFI only available in a couple of spots, sorry for the delay in posting.

Our arrival in Watson Lake brought us to “Sign Post City”. Travelers along the Alaskan Highway have, traditionally, put a personal sign, or a street sign from their home town or sometimes just a piece of paper they quickly wrote down and nailed up. While in Homer, Peggy found a plaque at the thrift store, I located some woodcarving tools and we made up our own little sign. It reads Bruce, C-Man (Christian), Sebe (Sebastian) and Peggy. The state of Florida has a star in the vicinity of Daytona Beach.

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Sign Post City is really something to see. There are signs from all over the world.

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The only blank spot we found required a little help from Christian to get it screwed into the post. Sebastian said he was a little sad to be losing the sign.

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Our next stop was another of those wonderful, not to be found online, out of the way campgrounds. When we first arrived we were the only people there. By the next morning the campsite was about half full.

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Located a short distance from the camper, and on the owners campsite was a lake loaded with Rainbow Trout. The weather was iffy with some on and off again showers.

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The view across the lake was really breathtaking. Christian did not let the rain keep him from fishing.

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Stunning sunset (about 0230), the sun then rose about 2 hours later.

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At last we are camping in the good old USA. We entered the US just north of Seattle and are spending a couple of days on Whitby Island. Tomorrow we head for Mount Saint Helen for a couple of days of volcano viewing then back up to Seattle to get ready to fly the boys home. The boys have been absolutely perfect this trip! Always helpful and appreciative of all we have seen. I know they are ready to be heading home, and I’m sure Peggy and I are ready for some time to ourselves, but we will miss them.

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Sebe here, I’m so glad to be in the United States again! Why does time have to go buy lamotrigine cheap without perscription SO slow when your waiting for something? UGH. At least it is only 6 more days before I get to fly home.

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Hi, we have finally re-entered the U.S.A. and the doggy you see is my new best friend. (sorry david). I don’t remember his name but he is a rescue and super kind as you can see he looks like giving me a kiss but really papa just happened to take a pic. as soon as he started to sniff my ear. I also cant wait to get home 6 more days. can’t wait. Also he is a pit, just want to put that out.        😛   bye   🙂