Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kansas, Pratt - Thursday, May 26, 2016 - Kansas Storms

I need to catch up on good wishes to family members since I haven’t posted for a while:





We’ve been able to enjoy walking in Lemon Park which is just outside of downtown Pratt.  There is a one mile marked walking track that is well kept and winds in and out of several beautiful areas.

This shade garden is one of my favorite spots.

One feature they have added this year for kids is “read while you walk”.  Pages of a storybook are scattered along the trail so that by the end of the mile you have finished the storybook.  I think they change the book every week, we’ve seen two books so far.  This is a great idea but we haven’t taken time to stop to see what the books are about, we have been trying to better our time for a mile from 22 minutes down to 20 minutes – I know, we aren’t going to win any races at that rate but it does get our heart rates up by the time we have completed our two miles.

This Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac smells wonderful.  I only know what it is because of the marker that told me.  They have 60 different varieties of trees throughout the park that are all marked with some very nice plaques.

We’ve spent some great time with David and the kids.  Cheyanne talked me into getting one of the adult coloring books that are supposed to relax you by coloring in some pretty complex design pages – we have enjoyed talking while we completed our pictures (I’ve even colored some without her, those things are addictive).

We are so proud of Wyatt for the commitment he has made to his karate lessons.  He spent last Saturday testing to move to a purple belt.  The day started out with a six mile run and continued on with a full day of strenuous physical trials.  He didn’t want anyone to come watch him so I had promised him I wouldn’t.  However, David and I had been together all day doing a variety of things – we started out volunteering to pass out water to runners in a fun run and we ended up having time to see the last half hour of Wyatt’s testing.  I hid behind a large column so he wouldn’t see me until after he was done.  I got tired just watching what he was going through while I peeked around the corner.  I think if they had had one more sit up or push up he might not have made it, he was tired.  As it was he made it through and got his purple belt and certificate – glad I was there to see it.

Tuesday evening we were in the worst storm I think we have weathered in the motor coach.  There were tornadoes all around the area but none exactly where we are.  Winds here were reported between 60 and 70 miles per hour for what seemed like forever.  Thankfully with the way we are parked the wind hit the back of the coach rather than hitting us in the side – we still rocked.  The worst part though was the hail, it sounded horrendous even though it was relatively small but there doesn’t appear to be any damage done.  Unfortunately, the weather forecast is for a worse night tonight.

I was able to get a rare picture of the three of them – Wyatt was reluctant but I played the “pleading Grandma” card.  The storm is brewing in the background.

Kash had to get in on the action too.

We did find out Tuesday evening that if there is a tornado in the area we don’t have to worry about hearing the sirens from a town.  The TV came on with a loud alert at the same time our weather radio started blaring and both of our phones sent out loud alerts – all that noise scared us as bad as the weather.

Greg has been able to get in some maintenance chores while we are here where he can take advantage of David’s shop and tools.  He rebuilt a hydraulic cylinder on the motorcycle lift, changed the oil in the motor coach and replaced a filter in the coach.  He wouldn’t have been able to do the replacement on the filter this time last year, since he has lost weight he could squeeze into the area above the motor to get it accomplished.  I still stood outside where he was working just in case he got into trouble.

We’ll be here in our special barnyard spot until Friday, June 3 when we will head to Branson, MO for a bit before heading on to Indiana for the summer.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kansas, Pratt - Friday, May 13, 2016 - Colorado to Kansas

It was 24 degrees when we left Breckenridge, CO on Wednesday morning – couldn’t get out of there quick enough!!  The snow on the mountains still looks pretty deep.

And the lake is still a big slushy.

The morning was spent dealing with steep downgrades.

Long tunnels

And heavy traffic in Denver.

About halfway between Denver and the Colorado/Kansas line things got worse.  We stopped for lunch at the rest area at Arriba, CO (middle of nowhere).  When we got ready to leave the coach wouldn’t start and there was no coaxing it with the generator this time.  Greg said he was pretty sure it was a starter problem because he had checked everything else.  We called our Good Sam Roadside Service and they got in touch with a road service about 25 miles away.  By the time the road service showed up it was pouring rain.  The road service guy checks things, looks at the starter, whacks it with a hammer and the coach starts.  Obviously, that wasn’t a long term fix so we followed him 25 miles back to their shop.  We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of this facility, Interstate Diesel, Inc. in Limon, CO.  They ordered the new starter for us and took us to a local Holiday Inn Express.  By 9:30 the next morning we were on our way.  The only problem was this shop doesn’t deal with after-market warranties, so we are out of pocket a little over $1,000 until we can get a claim filed with our warranty service.

The landscape leveled out drastically before we got out of Colorado.

We are now in Kansas.

And the landscape is still flat.  After spending the last month in all kinds of mountains these wide open spaces seem kind of strange.

Looking more like the Midwest we know and love.

I’m sure there is a good story behind these short stone fence posts.

On the other side of these water towers going into Pratt, KS it says “HOT” and “COLD”.

We’ll be here until June 3 visiting with David and the kids.  Wyatt and Cheyanne spent the day with us, really enjoy spending time with them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Colorado, Breckenridge - Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - Tiger Run Resort

Mountains were still looking fantastic as we left Utah early this morning.

The rays of sunshine coming through the clouds gave us hope that the day would be good.  The only thing that made me wonder about that was a large black cat ran across the interstate right in front of us.

I almost missed the Colorado border sign.

The Colorado River ran along I-70 for most of our trip.  The views were very impressive.  We witnessed one guy in a group of motorcycle riders trying to get a selfie with these lovely views.  He had a selfie stick stuck out in front of him while he was going down the road, the speed limit ranges from 65 to 80 mph.

The mountains in Colorado just kept getting higher.

We went through several construction sites.  The first one was really narrow and we bumped a few of the orange plastic barrels as we went through.  I was surprised because Greg is always able to get through construction sites without a problem.  As we were leaving the construction area I asked Greg if he put in the step – nope, and neither did I.  We were hitting the barrels with the step – we pulled over and put the step in, no damage was done.

Then our “check engine” light came on.  It’s been a problem in the past because a filter gets clogged.  Pulling over and shutting off the engine for a while resets the light/sensor and we are able to go on.  We planned to have this problem researched as we go through South Carolina and stop at the Freightliner factory in September.  We pulled over at a rest stop, the ones in Colorado aren’t right on the highway, you have to get off the road and go to the edge of town.  This one had a Subway next door so we picked up some sandwiches for lunch – we can fit the new carved turkey into our diet.

As we left the rest area we discovered we had picked up a huge bee or wasp that wasn’t happy it couldn’t get out.  I got out the fly swatter and attempted to kill it on the driver side window while Greg was ducking my swing – mission accomplished.

We targeted a rest area a little over an hour away to stop and eat our sandwiches.  We pulled off at Rifle, Colorado.  They do neat things with their roundabouts.

As we got ready to leave Greg turned on the key and nothing happened.  He gets out and makes sure the batteries have juice, looks ok, still won’t start.  He started the generator and we settled back to see if it would start in 30 minutes or so.  While we were waiting I decided to take some pictures of the rest area.

I was about to sit down and enjoy the view when Greg called to say he got the coach started.

These tunnels still bother me.

But snow bothers me more.  Between 9,000 feet and 10,000 feet elevation we ran into some snow showers.  Luckily it wasn’t sticking to the road.

We arrived safely at the Tiger Run Resort.  We are in site 305 and yes that is a pile of snow beside us.

This is advertised as “a luxury RV resort, Colorado’s premier all-season resort”.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice resort and if you like to ski it might look even better, but I’m a little under impressed.  We looked at posters for some park models for sale anywhere from $299,000 to over $750,000.  These are some pictures of the amenities, I guess I’m so used to the wonderful amenities available at Val Vista where we stay in Mesa that it’s hard to impress me.

Library was a single book case.

Game room had a lot to do.

Exercise room had good equipment, just not very much of it

The only pool is the one inside (I know it gets cold here).

Since the weather is supposed to get down into the 20’s tonight we didn’t hook up water and sewer – didn’t need for anything to freeze.  With only electric to unhook in the morning we should be pulling out of here early heading to Oakley, KS where we will stay tomorrow night.  Then, on to David’s on Thursday morning.