Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Back in the Land of Sons and Grandaughters

We felt like the old TV Detective, Columbo, while we were at Forest City, “Just one more thing….” was his line.  Winnebago’s Service Dept took care of all of our questions, but we kept coming up with a few more questions at the end of our week.  Did we have hardware issues, or was it “user error”?  As it turns out, we had a little of each.  Our last question had to do with the TV and Satellite remote controls.  They had an easy fix and they took care of it late in the day so we spent Friday night in their lot with our other new friends.
Saturday we continued north into Minnesota and stopped at Dakotah Meadows RV Park, near Mystic Lake Casino.  David came to visit in the afternoon.  On Sunday we were invited to a birthday party for our niece Katie, hosted by her sister Carrie.  It was fun to catch up with 3 of our nieces and their families.
On Monday we moved to Brett’s place in Elk River.  So good to catch up on hugs from the granddaughters!
It’s been good to see the family again but the weather here is the pits!  It’s cold, windy, and rainy with a touch of snow today.  Almost May and still no warm weather here!  We miss the warm, pleasant weather of Arizona and the south. 
Here is a picture out of Brett’s back window of the cold, dreary weather.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

At Camp Winnebago

Here we sit, socializing with other Winnebago/Itasca owners who are having their motorhomes serviced here at the factory.  This is a view of a part of the parking area (there must be about 15 rigs in total camped here):
Most of the others are having final adjustments made to new rigs covered by warranty, but some people are long-time owners who return here to have all routine service done (as opposed to going back to the dealer they bought from).  We arrived Sunday evening and all were strangers to each other.  During the day, we hang out in the service lounge and get to know one another, talking and playing cards.  We get our motorhomes back at the end of day shift (3 pm) so we can have dinner and sleep in our own beds.  At 7:00 am we return to the lounge and the techs pick up the motorhomes to continue servicing them.  On Tuesday night, 18 of us from all over the country had dinner together at a local restaurant which served great chicken and ribs.  We did a lot of talking and laughing.  Hard to believe we only all met yesterday!
As one of the guys from Michigan said, “The best part of owning a Winnebago is meeting the other Winnebago owners.”
Late on Monday a rig was towed in that needs quite a bit more work than the rest of us need.
Someone has a real story to tell, but we didn’t meet the owner or get the details.  Security thought it might be repairable.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Back on the Road, Northbound

Our 3-week project ended Thursday with a BBQ Buffet dinner courtesy of Larry who was our liaison person.  The bulk of our work at Circle of Care was to completely paint all cupboards in a kitchen of one of the houses, replace 3 exterior doors in a variety of buildings, repair other doors and windows, paint shutters, and repair exterior columns and their bases.  This photo shows one of the smaller columns. 

John and Judy, two of our original project members, left for scheduled medical reasons a  week ago, and were replaced by Joe and Pat for our last week.  They fit in well for such a short time.
About 25 to 30 miles south of here is another Circle of Care facility: the Boys Ranch at Gore.  Our work group went on a field trip last Tuesday to see it and the needs they have there.  A different Nomads group will be gathering there over the weekend to spend the next three weeks.  One of our group is headed there to work back-to-back projects before taking a break.
We stayed at Tahlequah for an extra day on Friday in order to do some laundry and other errands and to meet up with Everett and Elizabeth, whom we worked with over 2 years ago in Missouri.  They are leaders for the project about to start in Gore.  We met in the late afternoon, went to dinner at Sam ‘n’ Ella’s, and came back to our place to talk even more.  It was great to meet up with them again and get caught up.  We plan to see them again later this summer.
Saturday, we had a tailwind to help blow us into Missouri.  US71 has now been improved to Interstate standards, and is labeled as Interstate 49.  We stopped for the night outside of Kansas City, close to Interstate 435 and close to the local amusement park called Worlds of Fun.
The screaming should stop by sunset so we can get some sleep.
Tomorrow we will end up at Forest City, Iowa for our warranty work.  We’ll be there for about 5 days.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Green Country

The above title is Oklahoma’s official nickname for the northeastern corner of the state.  See http://www.travelok.com/regions/green_country  We have learned already that there are many rivers, and most of them have dams, probably for flood control.  The lakes that have formed behind the dams provide a lot of recreation: fishing, boating, camping, etc.  Along the shores can be found some great motorcycling.  We haven’t written about this much, since we haven’t been riding nearly enough, but that changed this weekend.
A great website for travelers like us is http://www.motorcycleroads.us/   When we have enough time in a new area, we can find the roads that the local riders prefer.  Friday was our official day off, and we put together a 100-mile loop for a 2-up ride.  This photo was taken along Hudson Lake. 

Then Saturday Bob had time for a solo trip down OK80 from Hulbert to the Fort Gibson dam. 
It was so enjoyable that he turned around and came back the same way instead of taking the faster US62.
Of our 4 couples working this project, one had to leave early for some planned medical appointments.  John and Judy left about noon on Friday and we are glad to have met them and worked with them.  We are likely to see them again, somewhere – that’s just the way this lifestyle works.  Another couple is coming on Sunday morning to replace them.
For “time off”, this weekend sure has been busy.  We’ve had the motorcycling rides; some of us assisted with a daycamp for kids and families with autism on Saturday; plus four of us attended a Native Ameican dance competition on Saturday evening.
Very colorful attire!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Another Whole Week has Slipped By

Time has been flying by, so we know we are having fun.  We know that spring is coming to northern Oklahoma since we have seen our first dandelions of the year we expect to be following them north).  The cold temperatures have also stayed north of us; the lows have reached 32 degrees but not below freezing.  After a cool, cloudy day with showers forecast for today, there should be clearing skies and warming temperatures this week.
The Circle of Care Childrens Home is now going through a change from dorm-style living to all foster care families.  The school and most of the cottages are now vacant, giving us access to fix some exterior doors, windows, and entry columns.  One kitchen is getting all of its cabinets repainted, and a bathroom ceiling fixture replaced.  One exterior door was about 80% replaced last Thursday.  We will finish trimming that one tomorrow.
We have had some rain storms pass through, but only one with any significant thunder and lightning (Thursday evening).  It left a great rainbow and a quiet night after it passed us. 

The stronger storms have passed nearby into Kansas, Missouri, or Arkansas.  Tulsa is only about an hour away, and they have had very little rain all year.  We went there Saturday for a little sightseeing and shopping.
Last night, our group went to a stage performance of “Nunsense” put on by the Tahlequah Community Players amateur acting troup.  They did a good job, but the acoustics made some parts a little harder to hear than others.  Our team leader, Joe, answered one of the nuns’ questions correctly and won a small prize.