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Author Topic: The Journey begins!  (Read 13961 times)

Smoky

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The Journey begins!
« on: August 14, 2005, 11:57:20 AM »
We are in our sixth week of fulltiming, and our journey has really begun this week.  We just finished 4 wonderful nights of camping with our two sons and their families in Gettysburg.  I will not see them again for ten months, and Sharon will be back in late October to help with a new arrival.  She plans to stay two weeks and then fly back to wherever we happen to be parked.
 
Our grand trek westward has finally begun.  We left Gettysburg on Friday and overnighted at Wal-Mart near St. Clairsburg Ohio.  Was a pretty nifty place surrounded by Outback Steakhouse, Arby's, Lowes, several department stores and more.  We had lots to do there and met folks from 6 other coaches.  One couple shared with us a great place in Mesa AZ for wintering over at $500 a month.  We are definitely going to look into that one.

Last night we arrived in a rainstorm and 60 mph winds at Nappanee IN and tied up at the Newmar factory.  They thoughtfully provide 30 amp circuits for anyone visiting in a Newmar coach.  The power was out during the storm so we ran off the genset.  By this morning the power was back on and I switched us over to shore power.   Our converted Taurus toad, towed without a hitch and went back into tramsmission mode as smooth as silk.

Today (Sunday) we will just goof around and get some supplies and groceries.  Tomorrow morning I will get some parts from Newmar and also see if they will take a look at our washer dryer.  The washer works wonderfully but the dryer has never dried.  Our dealer thinks the heating element is bad and we would have to find a Splendide dealer to get the warranty work done.  But I am hopeful the factory here will do something about it.  Or at least direct us to a nearby Splendide dealer.

Tonight we are eating out at an Amish restaurant.  This is Amish country and it is really odd to see horse and buggies going down the main streets.

Tomorrow afternoon we do the factory tour again, but this time our coach will not be on the assembly line.  This will be the Admiral's first factory tour.

I can no longer get the Oriole games on Direct TV (am out of range for my local stations and local sports), but the Raven Falcon game was nationally telecast so I got to watch my beloved Ravens on satellite.    Once I get to Montana I plan to subscribe to the NFL package so I can catch the Raven games this fall.  I have to be hooked up to a phone line to do that, so I have to wait till we get to Kalispell.

Can't wait to get the Internet dish installed, but we are still a couple weeks away from that.  Mt Rushmore will be our next destination and we plan to stay there a week if the campgrounds are nice.
.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2006, 09:34:48 AM by Smoky »
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Woody

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2005, 12:53:00 PM »
Hi Smoky,

If you get a chance get down to Shipshewanna and check out the Amish Culture Center there. Cost for the tour is just $5 I believe and is well worth it. Tour takes about an hour and they explain the history and all aspects of Amish culture.
The small Amish Country Store there is great for stocking up on bulk spices, teas, and candy.

Woody

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2005, 01:22:50 PM »
Smoky,

Good hearing you and Sharon on on your way.  Lot of interesting places in RV country Indiana.  A good RV salvage place in Elkhart and Shipshiwana.  Interesting to walk through.  Hope the factory takes care of your W/D.  I would expect the would just change it out if the can't fix it on the spot.  Keep us posted on your travels.  Enjoy the trip. 

FYI we pay 1250.00 a year for our site in Yuma.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2005, 03:59:42 PM »
Smoky,

If you get a chance take a trip to Shipshewanna. Lots of Amish and a large flea market every Tuesday I think. We try not to go on that day. ;D They have a nice Amish-Menonite-Heutarite(sp?) museum.

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2005, 09:53:16 PM »
OK gang, we have shipshewanna on our list.  Definitely if we stick around some extra days for Splendide work and routine Spartan maintenance.

Ron please tell me more about the yuma deal. 1250 a year?  Does that mean you can come and go as you please and always have a full hookup waiting?  That would be a better deal than the 1650 I would end up paying for just 3 months at Mesa.

Today we ate at Amish Acres and I hated it.  The Admiral loved it, but the food is too heavy and bland for my taste.  I guess I just do not like Amish cooking.  The service was grand though and enormous portions of food were served. 

Staying here at the Newmar factory is fascinating.  People coming and going at all hours of the day and from all directions of the USA.  We have yet to see another Kountry Star.  Tons of Dutch Starts of course and lots of Mountain Aires and Essexes.  Now that the Kountry Star has been upgraded from entry level to mid range, I am surprised they are not more popular.  They are identical to Dutch Stars except slightly less power and no tag axle versions.  Maybe they just never have to come back to the factory???  :D

Not sure when we are pulling out.  Tomorrow or Tuesday we will move to a conventional camp ground if we stay. 

« Last Edit: April 11, 2006, 09:35:27 AM by Smoky »
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2005, 10:53:41 PM »
Ron please tell me more about the yuma deal. 1250 a year?  Does that mean you can come and go as you please and always have a full hookup waiting?  That would be a better deal than the 1650 I would end up paying for just 3 months at Mesa.



Yes when you rent by the year you can come and go as you please and always have the same site to return to. You do pay electric separately on most these deals.  But then many cases when you rent by the mounth electric is extra.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2005, 12:03:10 AM »
Ron:

What would be a range of dollar figures to budget for my electric bill?

Also can you give me the name of this campground and do they have a web site?

Smoky
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ned

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2005, 06:31:58 AM »
Robert,

Thanks for that info.  Hydraulic rams would make sense, but they can creep, as Jim says, and if they do so unevenly, then the slideout will twist.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Barb

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2005, 07:24:29 AM »
If you stick around, the James Dean Gallley,
425 N Main St
Fairmount, IN  46928
(765) 948-3326
is a must see.

We like the Shipshewanna North CG. Nicepark. Downside, truck and buggy noise. The new sites in the south campground are very very tight. But hey..too much to do to worry about the cg. Flea market is on tuesday. And having dinner in Middlebury is a must.

Barb
Barb
2003 NRV Tradewinds LTC
2011 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2005, 08:26:23 AM »
Hi Barb,

Are you talking about the private James Dean museum? If so we found the one run by the historical society  to be far better and it's almost free!!! I think they ask for a small donation. They also have the Jim Davis museum, creator of Garfield which is included!



Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

camper1b

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 09:11:44 AM »
If you're looking for a campground near Mt Rushmore, we were very happy with Big Pine Campoground just west of Custer.  A young couple just bought it a few months ago.  They are very accomodating and freindly and the campground is very nice under - well, what else? - big pine trees.  Have fun!
Rich & Kay
Andy ('89) and Amy ('97)
'00 Sunnybrook 26DB and '03 Ford E-350 Van w/ V10
2 Shelties
http://herewego2005.blogspot.com

Barb

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2005, 11:40:09 AM »
Jim

It is the private one. We got in free, and had a personal tour, as we we're the only ones there. We did leave a donation.  Next time we're in the area we'll have to look up the historical society. Thanks for the info.

Barb
Barb
2003 NRV Tradewinds LTC
2011 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2005, 02:03:37 PM »
Barb,

I'm sure you'll enjoy the historical society museum. They even have one of Dean's motorcycles there. I think they have a lot more of his personal items than the other museum. The high school  he attended was still there but they don't use it anymore.



Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2005, 09:33:51 PM »
Ron:

What would be a range of dollar figures to budget for my electric bill?

Also can you give me the name of this campground and do they have a web site?

Smoky

Electric bills high = 65.15 low 33.68.  We had the hot water on Electric on turned the HW gas on when Sam was doing the wash.

Park we stay at is Coyote Ranch.  No web site that I am aware of Phn 928-345-3573
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Ned

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 06:16:24 AM »
Ron,

Our electricity has been ~$90 each of the past two months here in Milwaukee.  Of course, temps have been in the 80s-90s with high humidity so lots of A/C needed.  Cost is about $.09/kwh.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2005, 09:32:49 PM »
Ron:

Thanks for that info.  What kind of ameneities?  Pool, rec room, laundry, adult activites etc?

Tonight we are parked in Wal-Mart at Lake Delton WI.  Should be at Mt Rushmore in 2 days.  We will stay there a week at Happy Holiday Resort near Rapid City.  Then on to Sam's camp for installation and fishing. <g>

Smoky
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2005, 09:44:01 PM »
Ron:

Thanks for that info.  What kind of ameneities?  Pool, rec room, laundry, adult activites etc?


Smoky

Yes, yes, yes, and yes to include quilting, crafts, games including suffleboard.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2005, 09:45:54 PM »
Ron,

Our electricity has been ~$90 each of the past two months here in Milwaukee.  Of course, temps have been in the 80s-90s with high humidity so lots of A/C needed.  Cost is about $.09/kwh.

Electric here at Sam's Camp last month was $42 and we did use Ac quite a bit.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2005, 10:31:58 PM »
Coyote sounds great.  We can discuss this more in about 9 or 10 days.   ;D

BTW I got all the info to your dealer last night for the installation.  Finally.  Pretty soon I won't be fighting these time zone differences.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2005, 10:51:05 PM »
An update since we left Newmar.

First they fixed all our problems even though we did not have an appointment.  They have a lovely lounge and we met a lot of other Newmar owners.  When we checked in they first took everyone with appointments.  Then, after about an hour wait, the shop scheduler Daryl had me sent to his office where he interviewed me.  Our most important problem was a Splendide that washed great but would not dry.  He arranged to have the local Splendide distributor come out with their mobile unit and visit us at our hookup.  The Splendide guy quickly determined we had a faulty fan.  If the fan does not work, the heating element is shut down.  He then realized that he could not fix it without removing the entire unit from its cabinet.  This required us to drive over to the Newmar service center.  They quickly sent a couple guys on to the coach and removed the unit and place it on the bed.  Within an hour it was up and running.  Josh the foreman assured us if the fan replacement did not solve the problem, they would swap out the entire unit.  That turned out not to be necessary.

That afternoon we were happily washing and drying at the nearby Playmor campground.

BTW the only thing Playmor has going for it is the fact that it is ten minutes away from Newmar and has lovely hookups.  But the laundry room and pool are filthy.  Yes we used the laundry room in addition to the Splendide as we had a LOT of laundry backed up.   ;D

This morning we left Playmor and arrived at the Wal-Mart in Lake Delton WI.  Passing through Chicago was scary as I thought the GPS was wrong when it directed me off I90 and on to I80.  As a result, I not only missed the cheap fuel in Gary IN, but had to drive right through downtown Chicago on the Skyway.  That was quite an experience.  I wanted the Admiral to take pictures of the tall skyscrapers through the coach front window, but she hid in the back until we cleared Chicago lol!  I am learning to trust this Garmin 2620.

After the city tour was over she gave me a rare compliment saying I drove through the city like a pro.  Indeed I feel much more comfortable with the coach than I did a few weeks ago.  When we get to Montana, the Admiral has promised to work on learning how to drive the coach.

This Wal-mart has a sign saying no overnight parking.  As soon as we parked, I went inside and spoke with the manager.  He laughed and said the owner of the nearby Jellystone was responsible for the village ordinance.  He said usually the ordinance is not enforced except on weekends, and when it is, most long haulers are left alone.  He also advised an excuse that always works is to tell the cops we drove all day (which we did) and that we pulled in when the engine began losing power. (Which it did not).  We really do not anticipate any problem and will be gone before sunrise.

Once we left Chicago, the scenery turned gorgeous as we drove through the lower Wisconsin Dells.

Looking forward to making Sioux Falls [edited] tomorrow and Mt Rushmore the day after and a week of bona fide camping the second day.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2005, 12:26:06 PM by Smoky »
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2005, 06:39:48 AM »
Smoky,

Be sure to take in the evening presentation at Mt. Rushmore!!! If they are still doing it the same way it will bring tears to your eyes. It was quite impressive.

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2005, 09:39:45 AM »
Glad to hear they got everything fixed for you.  Sounds like you are going to have an enjoyable trip.  Do you plan on taking in Devils Tower near Sundance Wyo? Remember Close Encounters of the third Kind :D

Have a safe trip.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Betty Brewer

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2005, 01:48:04 PM »

  Passing through Chicago was scary as I thought the GPS was wrong when it directed me off I90 and on to I80.  As a result, I not only missed the cheap fuel in Gary IN, but had to drive right through downtown Chicago on the Skyway.  That was quite an experience.  I wanted the Admiral to take pictures of the tall skyscrapers through the coach front window, but she hid in the back until we cleared Chicago lol!  I am learning to trust this Garmin 2620.

I can not tell you how many times I thought "Hilda" (aka Garmin 2610) was wrong but  she has not let us down.  At times she takes quirky little jogs but she gets you right back on track.   I always tell Terry, "learn to trust your navigator."  Sometimes that navigator is me but mostly it is Hilda.

Glad you are more comfortable with driving.  Tell Admiral the interstates in Montana will be a perfect starting spot to drive.  You can  measure rest stop to rest stop, stay in the right lane and  little if any traffic will whiz by.  I know of no other deserted 2 lane highways that are any better for a beginning driver to gain confidence.

Betty Brewer
Betty Brewer

see where we are

camper1b

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2005, 07:55:51 AM »
I can not tell you how many times I thought "Hilda" (aka Garmin 2610) was wrong but  she has not let us down.  At times she takes quirky little jogs but she gets you right back on track.   I always tell Terry, "learn to trust your navigator."  Sometimes that navigator is me but mostly it is Hilda.

Glad you are more comfortable with driving.  Tell Admiral the interstates in Montana will be a perfect starting spot to drive.  You can  measure rest stop to rest stop, stay in the right lane and  little if any traffic will whiz by.  I know of no other deserted 2 lane highways that are any better for a beginning driver to gain confidence.

Betty Brewer

Yep, our 2620 is named Rosie and I also doubted her going through Indianapolis recently.  She had me "going out of the way" to get on our next road.  I saw a "shorter" way and took it.  After several miles we discovered that there was no entrance for the interstate from that direction and we had to backtrack and then follow her instructions.  "Off route - recalculating!"  "Yes dear".
Rich & Kay
Andy ('89) and Amy ('97)
'00 Sunnybrook 26DB and '03 Ford E-350 Van w/ V10
2 Shelties
http://herewego2005.blogspot.com

Ned

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2005, 08:40:50 AM »
We turned off the off route voice, it was too annoying and too frequent :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2005, 08:52:32 AM »
We turned off the off route voice, it was too annoying and too frequent :)

Hmmm, you just got to learn to follow instructions then the off route voice wouldn't be so frequent. ;D ;D
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Ned

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2005, 09:05:00 AM »
Lorna drives where she wants.  It doesn't matter what Garmin or I say :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2005, 09:51:59 AM »
Lorna drives where she wants.  It doesn't matter what Garmin or I say :)

Must be a female thing Sam does the same thing. ;D ;D ;D
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

BernieD

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2005, 04:15:58 PM »
We turned off the off route voice, it was too annoying and too frequent :)

Marlene refused to let me upgrade from the SPIII to the 2610 unless I promised to keep the voice off. Just the announcements of the upcoming turns were too much for her.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2005, 05:47:59 PM »
Bernie,

That kinda defeats a major reason for having the Garmin! ;D

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Barb

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2005, 10:09:06 AM »
I don't think it's a female thing. Frank does the same thing. We turn off the voice too.
Barb
2003 NRV Tradewinds LTC
2011 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited

BernieD

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2005, 11:58:38 AM »
Bernie,
That kinda defeats a major reason for having the Garmin! ;D

Jim

Not quite, I just have to look at the map display more often. Sometimes Marlene will let me turn Hilda on when we are in unfamiliar territory just to keep my attention on the road and warn me of basck to back turns.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2005, 03:52:48 PM »
Bernie,

Attention to the road is always good. :)
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2005, 01:13:37 AM »
Anyone tried the new 2720?  It looks awesome.  Also looks like they omitted the 2710 version, and offer only the preloaded maps now.  Works for me!  But I will stick with the 2620 for now.  Especially as I had to buy a new laptop today.

Which leads to why I have been "off the air" the past week.

We are now in Rapid City SD and having a grand time.  We decided to stay here at Happy Holidays RV Resort for 8 days.  We will depart for Sam's camp this coming Sunday.  Have oodles of photos of Rushmore, Needles Highway, Deadwood, etc but will have to wait to upload them until we get the new laptop going.  Goodness how I hate the conversion process to a new pc.

We lost Internet capability when we ran out of Verizon digital coverage in SD.  We can still talk on the Verizon phone network, but they will not allow any form of Internet connection in the non digital areas or areas where they use third party carriers.

Our campground does have a kickass WIFI, but this week our old laptop decided it would NOT allow wireless internet access even though it shook hands fine with the WIFI server.  I could have spent this week wrestling with that problem, but decided I had had it with the "aging" (only 2 years old) laptop.  I cannot believe how fast pc related stuff becomes "obsolete" and begins giving problems.  I am also angry at how the software companies have managed to make it very difficult to move software from one pc to another.  I tried for several hours to reinstall my MSFT Office to the new computer and finally gave up and used the 60 day pre-installed trial version, which means I have to buy another package.  I am sure I will run into similar problems with Norton and Quicken and other stuff.  I may end up keeping the old laptop just so I won't have to buy so much new software.  Got a great deal on an HP ZV6000, with the 64bit Athlon chip, 100 gig hard drive, 2 MHz processing, and lots of other goodies.  But the good deal will get eaten up by the forced repurchase of software.  Ugh.

We love this area and never realized how beautiful the Dakotas are.  I had always pictured them as dreary and drab.  Wrong!  8 days will not be enough, but we have to move on.

We cracked the big passenger side MH windshield on the way here.  A call to the dealer was discouraging, as they said they would have to inspect it and our warranty would not cover stone damage.  However a call to Newmar gave us a different story.  They said when we reached an area that had a dealer where we would stay long enough to get on their work schedule and also allow 4 to 5 days for shipping the large window, they would cover it under warranty.  I asked about inspection.  They said, "What?  On a coach you just bought 2 months ago?  Don't worry about it."

This is a big reason we bought Newmar.

We also are getting a lot of dings and scratches on the Taurus toad.  So today I bought a used Blue OX shield that mounts on the hitch.  I would also like to find a place that sells those vinyl windshield covers.

It is still early in our young fulltiming life, but so far we can't imagine why we did not do this sooner.

Smoky

« Last Edit: August 25, 2005, 01:18:01 AM by Smoky »
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Phil

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2005, 04:05:47 AM »
We are now in Rapid City SD and having a grand time.  We decided to stay here at Happy Holidays RV Resort for 8 days.  We will depart for Sam's camp this coming Sunday.  Have oodles of photos of Rushmore, Needles Highway, Deadwood, etc but will have to wait to upload them until we get the new laptop going.

Smoky,

Are you driving the toad more or less than you originally planned?

Phil

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2005, 10:19:02 AM »
LOL Phil!!  ;D

Hard to say at this point.  We hardly used the toad at all on the legs to SD.  We would travel hundreds of miles each day in the coach, then anywhere from 1 mile to 20 miles in the toad.

But now here at Rushmoire I have filled the toad tank twice while the coach sits and sits.  Time will tell!
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2005, 12:00:58 PM »
Smoky,

Good hearing you are enjoying the Black Hills.  Looking forward to your arrivalat Sam's Camp.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Jeff

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2005, 12:06:16 PM »
I bought Delorme SA to hear the voice. After 200 miles Sue said "shut it off or I'm getting out".  :-[

Now I use S&T only which I like to use better anyway.

BruceinFL

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2005, 12:29:44 PM »
Smoky,
Sent you an email regarding the drive and Msft software.
When I was out there, I also had some trouble connecting wifi. Found out that I had to right click the wifi icon (bottom right of the screen) or go to Network Connections and hit the Repair button to activate or reinstate the wifi. Also, you will find that the farther north of I94 and away from major towns you get the less Verizon coverage you will have for National Access and you may have to resort to hardline phone connections. What I did was just send/receive email by phone and waited until I had wifi or Verizon to access forums/internet.
Bruce A.
2004 Alpenlite Valhalla 29RK 5W
2005 Ford F-350 SRW 6.0L

BernieD

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2005, 03:50:25 PM »
I bought Delorme SA to hear the voice. After 200 miles Sue said "shut it off or I'm getting out".  :-[

Now I use S&T only which I like to use better anyway.

Jeff

Sue and Marlene must be related ;D  She would only let me upgrade to the Garmin 2610 if I promised to keep the voice off. I also much prefer S&T to SA, but only have Garmin on when driving.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Terry A. Brewer

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2005, 06:01:29 PM »
Smoky

>>But now here at Rushmoire I have filled the toad tank twice while the coach sits and sits.<<


Have you toured the Badlands & Custer State Park yet?....Pretty uneconomical to do it in your motorhome. Relishing the day when you finally admit that you are putting lots of miles on your car while touring while your motorhome sits in the campground.<BG>

Terry
At Clark Fork, ID



Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2005, 01:13:56 PM »
How this LOL Terry!

Not admitting it yet, but much close than a few weeks ago ( or was it months ago) when I wondered why people had such high mileages on their toads.

I will honestly say I am now looking forward to a few weeks of sitting around doing nothing.  At my age touring the sights wears me out and I miss my afternoon naps.  I believe what is going to happen is that we will do a lot of long distance driving in the MH as we want to see ALL of the US, but there will be many periods where we just sit and chill out by a pool, or take hikes around a wilderness dry camp area.  And then here will be times where the toad will take us to "required" tourist visit points of interest.  How this all balances out will be a function of many variables.  My olde farte body with its love of chilling out is just one of those variables.  :D  I do see now, however, that the toad will get more miles than originally anticipated.  Still not sure if it will outmile the pusher, which was my original question.

Yesterday we were on the road again with a full day of toad gas burning.   :o

The main visit was Crazy Horse.  I had high expectations (just like for Yellowstone in 2003) but was greatly disappointed.  It came across to me more as a tourist trap and money maker.  Hard to pinpoint the difference between Crazy Horse and Rushmore, but Rushmore was a much more vibrant experience, even though it had its share of stores and restaurants.

I got off on the wrong foot when I found there was a $20 admission, and none of our coupons, permits, passes, etc would work.  I had the boldness to ask how the fee was used and was told how expensive sculpting and dynamiting was.  OK.  Fair enough.

I looked forward to the chance to see a work in progress. complete with dynamiting, sculpting, maybe even visits up close to stand near mountain sculptors and watch them work. Something the completed Rushmore could not offer.

 As the day wore on, we never saw a single sign of life on the face of the mountain.  The only sounds of dynamiting were coming from the theater.  I found it interesting that not only did the theater emit sounds of dynamite when picturing the work of past years, but also during the intermission would emit explosive sounds that could be heard throughout the building.  At first I had the impression that real work was going on.  Eventually I figured out the sounds were all being created electronically.

A big disappointment came within the theater, when the film (not nearly as interesting as the Rushmore film) showed a final shot of the Mountain as it stood in 1998.  As far as my unpracticed eye could discern, it looked identical to what I saw in real life in 2005.

I was so unnerved by this I asked at the information desk if work was still going on.  "Yes" was the answer.

I asked why I had not seen any activity for several hours.  "They are working on the back side of the mountain."

Is there a way I can get a view of the back, even a distant one, so I can view the work in progress?  "No."

So much for that conversation.

I will say the work through 1998  ;) is impressive to view.  But not worth $20 compared to the $8 and the view of Rushmore.

I am wondering who is the guiding force since Korczak Zilkowski's death in 1982? 

I asked this question all around and could not get a consistent answer.  It seems on their web site, that sculpting work did continue ( but based on Korczak Zilkowski's original plans) until a final blasting in 1999.  I get the feeling it is sort of petering out, but it is politically unwise to explore this, as one is quickly questioned about one's feelings towards the American Indians.  I love the social structure of the Native American and  though new to learning the history, I am very interested and very supportive.  I do agree the settlers did not treat the Native American well, and that our American culture does not have the necessary appreciation of native culture.  I want to do better myself in this area.

But the only driving force I saw yesterday was the force to make money and commercialize.

The best thing Crazy Horse has going for it is the museum.  I don't think one can call it the best collection of Native American artifacts in existence, but it is close to making the visit worth $20.  Even so, there is a LOT of commercial activity going on inside the museum.  Not opposed to commercial activity, and we even bought a necklace for the Admiral which is lovely.  Not from an Indian though, but from a Caucasian "beader". 

It is just that I expected to see more love of history as exhibited at Rushmore that could go along with the commercialism.

Hope I am not offending anyone here.

I just better enjoyed the $20 we spent for a magnificent lunch at the Alpine Inn in Hill City that same day.  This is only the second restaurant recommendation I have made since joining the forum.  I can assure Bernie and Marlene that the rest rooms work, the air conditioning works (though yesterday it was not needed) and the setting is far more attractive and scenic than my first recommendation.

The prices are awesome.  Lunches run $4 to $6 and are elegant.  A strong German influence but lots of variety and all dishes with their unique and elegant presentation.  Sharon ordered a Reuben with homemade German potato salad included.  The sauerkraut in the sandwich was also home made.

I ordered an open faced smoked salmon bagel with home made cream cheese, Bermuda onion, etc. 

We both enjoyed the finger sandwich platter, with 8 half sandwhiches, each different, and each much larger than my idea of a finger sandwich.

Belgian strawberry and ice cream waffle, and multilayered chocolate cake for desert.

I wish I had the foresight to have taken a picture of the filled table.  I did however get a shot of the Inn from the car on the way out and will upload that with other goodies when I get this laptop fully set up.

We will be back to the Alpine one evening before we leave for their reservation only steak dinner.  The only thing they serve at dinner is a 6 oz filet Mignon for $5.95, and an 8 oz for $9.95.  complete with beverage, sides, and desert.

I have eaten $75 meals that are not prepared as well.

The Alpine Inn at Hill City SD.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2005, 02:26:21 PM »
I guess we had better just stay away from Crazy Horse as we do Rushmore.  We enjoyed Rushmore years ago befor they ruined it by what they called updating the visitor center.  The old one was much better and the area was not such a tourest trap.  Guess they have contaminated Crazy Horse area too.  The ast time we were there they were still working on it nant we found it very interesting.  Didn't cost even half of what y0u paid Smoky.  Hope you enjoy Devils Tower.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2005, 02:35:39 PM »
Aye Ron.  I still enjoyed Rushmore, despite the parts that were commercial.  We did the movie thing in town first, and that may have influenced us favorably as it was tasteful and VERY interesting.  The finished sculptures are also very awesome the first time you see them in the flesh.

I think Crazy Horse would be awesome in the finished state as well.  It is even awesome in the unfinished state.  I just did not see how they justified the $20 unless people were truly working their butts off getting it finished.  And they definitely are not.

Hope we have time for the Tower.  Will be plotting my route sometime this evening.  We do not want to lose time getting to Sam's camp so all will depend on remaining travel time.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2005, 02:44:37 PM »
Smoky,  Just noted your signature line.  Where is Rapid City Idaho? ??? ;D ??? ;D

I think you are about 450 to 490 mile from Sam's Camp from where you are now.  Enjoy the trip.  Remember if you don't see it this time maybe next time.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2005, 07:12:11 PM by Ron »
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2005, 06:16:39 PM »
Ron: 

Do you mean Rapid City? 

If so, sorry to hear it is that far.  A ten hour drive for us.  We may have to make it a 2 day drive.  If the Tower is not too far off our path maybe we can drive by in the MH.  Are the roads around it MH friendly?
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2005, 07:15:24 PM »
Rapid City.   Your signature line says Rapid City Idaho.

As we recall the roads around Devils tower we kinda tight.  We ended up parking the Bounder along a road an riding to the tower with my sister and bil.
That was a few years ago.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2005, 10:02:03 PM »
OK.  The tower is a maybe then for the moment.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

rhmahoney

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2005, 09:53:34 AM »
"I just did not see how they justified the $20 unless people were truly working their butts off getting it finished.  And they definitely are not."

My take on why $20.00 to see Crazy Horse:

-Rushmore is paid for, is a national park, is heavily visited and so can charge less.

-Crazy Horse is privately (under)funded. It is a sideshow and so less visited. The high entrance fee probably makes many pass on by.

photos of Rushmore's construction showed many workers (100s?). I doubt that Crazy Horse can afford more than a small crew. I suspect the completion is many decades away.
Green Flash seeker
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Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2005, 01:38:40 PM »
... and I suspect you are dead on right Russ.

I love the concept of Crazy Horse.  If completed, the monument would be one of the Wonders of the World, and the Indian complex being developed there would be a magnificent showplace for appreciation of the Native American culture.  Sad that it does not seem to be working out that way.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2005, 04:28:23 PM »
Smoky,

We were at the Crazy Horse monument in 1997. I did not see any evidence of work going on at that time! I, too, felt it was a ripoff for what you got to see. Guess they haven't done much since.

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
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Smoky

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2005, 05:44:30 PM »
LOL Jim.  All I can say is that the film shows a 1998 "current" picture of the progress and it looks identical to the current live view.  Guess they got tired of "updating" that picture each year.   :D
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Jim Dick

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Re: The Journey begins!
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2005, 03:05:21 PM »
Smoky,

You can't update that which hasn't changed! ;D

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

 

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