Hotter than h…. in Kansas!



(Caution…this post may jump in time and space!)

We are feeling fortunate to be sitting in the cool of the Dorothy Bramlage Public Library in Junction City, KS as the temperature climbs toward 102 degrees outside!  Very fortunate!

Yesterday at this time we were baking on the shore of the beautiful Wilson Lake, about one hundred miles west of here where we landed last Monday.   But let me back up even more!

One week ago today, after leaving Glenda and Jeff, we are relocating to ….IMG_2110

Where we find the unknown berries that are a welcome addition to our morning oatmeal.


After one night and a little rain we are heading to Englewood, CO (really it’s Denver) to visit with our former neighbor, good friend, Chris who moved away 4 years ago.

Enjoying her company in her back yard oasis, we meet one of the neighbors’ cats.DSC_6034 


Chris,a hiker, backpacker and bicyclist, is recently started her own business.   You can learn more about being healthy here.

Our time in Denver is short.  Slept comfortably in the Casita on the street in front of her house.  (Never ceases to amaze me….all the spots we can find to sleep!)  The next morning we attended a farmers’ market  where I purchased a clay cooking pot from Columbia.  These amazing little pots can be used in the oven, on the grill or in the microwave.  My oatmeal is being cooked, for a change, inside the Casita on the propane grill!



Due to the morning at the market, we are heading toward Kansas in the heat of the day.  Barely made it across the state line before stopping at the High Plains RV Park.   The winds are howling, gusting around 30 miles per hour!  David’s frustrated as everything he lays down is instantly blown away.  Arriving just before dark, we see our first Kansas sunset.



The problem of camping on Labor Day had been bothering me.  While in Poudre Canyon there was no phone and the Reserve website wasn’t working on my computer.  While at Chris’ house, we were just too busy to look!  Finally scored one of the two last electric sites at a COE on Lake Wilson…right on our path to the Farnum Creek rally!  I prayed for a shaded site with a good solid cell phone connection.

Arriving on Monday afternoon before the holiday, we are almost alone as it’s mostly empty.  Searching the huge 7 loops of Minooka Park campground, four or five sites had afternoon shade.  We picked D-9 as it had two trees and a beautiful view of the lake.  And a solid 4G with 4 bars!


The first night is spent exploring and taking sunset pictures.



We are on the eastern side of the peninsula so it was no problem to get a few sunrise pictures.




It’s hot, we need ice and decide to explore the closest little town of Wilson.  After eight miles of rolling hills we find the town’s only store/ gas station closed.  Five PM closing time!  Well, surely there’s something else?  Sure, we were told, if we want to head back west on the interstate 26 miles!

Already I am wondering if this pretty spot with the perfect internet connection is doable for 7 nights.  The heat is getting more intense.  Then a water main breaks, the shower house closes and we are advised to disconnect our water as maintenance is turning it off and on.  The second day of no water begins and I am holing up inside the Casita.  The reflectix is back on the windows in attempts to keep the A/C inside.  I am dreading the weekend when we must move to our previously reserved site with no shade on the western side of the hill.

Full of indecision and drained from the heat, I email Tom, one of the hosts of the Farnum Creek rally, telling him of my misery mentioning that if our A/C quits, we would be heading home if we were not in the hospital!  And, bless him, he immediately jumps into action and finds us a site on Milford Lake.  We call back and forth, my calls constantly getting dropped, until we can make the 90 mile trip to the West Rolling Hills camp.  Drove much faster than normal due to concern over him sitting in the heat saving our site.

So last night was great! Ate hamburgers at the marina and had a shower.  All good except when my laptop electric cord shorted and threw the Casita into darkness.  After momentarily sitting in shock, we got everything unplugged and explored the converter.

I found a switched that had been thrown and we were back into the light.  This morning discovered the cord no longer worked, had one of the wires burnt.  Found a great little repair shop and he put me back into the blogging world in a few short minutes.  Wizard Electronics performed magic!

If you are wondering why I am writing so much, it’s 4 Pm and 101.  Think we will stay here until closing time!

Few more thoughts…..This coming week will be our last on the road.  The rally starts (officially) midweek and then we will be heading to Chattanooga.  It will be great to be home after 3 1/2 months …….but what will I write about?

More of Wilson Lake






Poudre River Visit/Rockies NP



A few hours ago we were saying our goodbyes to Glenda and Jeff and heading  east down the river.  We have been in the Poudre River Canyon, just west of Fort Collins, for 5 nights.  After setting up a new camp, we promptly went to bed for a nap, exhausted after 4 days of non-stop visiting!

This has been a fun week!  My socialization needs have finally been met.  Been starved for some good ole girl talk.  And did we talk!

A few days ago they treated us to a wonderful tour of the Rocky Mountains National Park.  It was a long day, Jeff drove over 200 miles but it was worth it!

Maybe I’ll back up and show what we found going into the P. R. Canyon last weekend.  After getting through Cameron Pass, at 10,000 plus feet, we are greeted by this magnificent guy.


There was a moose made of barbed wire at a visitor’s center right before we saw the real thing!  The texture in his coat comes from the barbs.DSC_5952

Hummers are all over the feeders at the State Park State Forest welcome center and strange little chipmunks are running everywhere scooping up the falling bird seed



A ranger identifies this guy at the Least Chipmunk.


End of summer flowers are blooming everywhere.

We are dawdling down the canyon waiting for the magic hour that our friends will be off work.  Finally we arrive at the Poudre River Resort and I’m surprised that it’s not a campground.  It does have a few tent sites but it’s more of a cabins and store type place.


Our home for the week.


Full moon in the canyon.

After a couple of days of boondocking, our battery monitor shows 17.4 volts.  After testing we decide to disconnect the battery and hook up to electricity.  It’s nice to run the fan and charge up the laptop that’s getting plenty of use due to the park’s wifi.  No cell phone connections though.

This tree catches my eye as we are traveling toward the RMNP.  Wondering if it could have been a cottonwood?


The rest of the day is a photographer’s dream…..so many beautiful scenes.  I find us amusing as we all are hanging our cameras out the windows, shooting right and left as we descend the mountain.




We take Trail Ridge Road that leads to the Alpine Visitor’s Center.



The elevation is making me feel funny…like my legs are made of jello.  Not trusting my ambulation, I hold on to my husband as we walk across the parking lot.  This is the highest I’ve ever been….with my feet on the ground!


 Glenda looking for that perfect photo!


The clouds are adding drama to our shots.

Great fun, good company and a wonderful place!

The visit is about perfect until the very last day when a local cowboy asks me if Glenda is my daughter?  I’m in a state of shock as I know which one of us is the oldest.  Letting it go, finally, after realizing it’s time to get the hair in for a tune-up!



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These berries are growing in our Friday night campsite .  Don’t usually pick strange berries and eat them but they look just like huckleberries……..and we have not died yet!

After pondering what to do about Labor Day….we have no reservations,  decided to head for the Kansas rally very early hoping to get one of the none reservable sites.  Hoping for good luck in finding an electric site…forecast in the 90’s.


Desert, Desert, Desert

For the past five days we have been traveling through the desert and when I say desert, I mean the real thing, just like in the old westerns with people crawling across the sand and seeing mirages.  Traveling east on I-80 means we are taking the shortest and gentlest route across the mountains but it is definitely not the most scenic.
Wanting to document the drive, I am struggling to find picture worthy scenes.  At a rest stop in Utah, in the middle of the Salt Lake desert, we find the above sign.  The sky is filled with smoke from the Salt Lake fire.DSC_5922
In Evanston, Wyoming we are fortunate to find a camp with green trees and a river walk.

Then it is back to rolling red hills until we reach Green River, WY.  DSC_5929
The host at the Green River informs us about the baking soda that’s mined here.  Never really thought about the origin of baking soda….
View of the Green River from the visitor’s center in the town of Green River.
One of the exhibits…it is huge!
This brings us back up to date….it’s just past check out time at the Lazy Acres Park in Riverside, WY.
Encampment River
Must get out of here but want to finish as there’s no promise of wi fi or cell signal for the rest of the day.  Heading southeast into the mountains of CO!


Tourists in San Francisco



Fisherman’s Wharf

Sanborn County Park in Saratoga has been our home for the past four days while my husband has been visiting with his son.  It’s a lovely park but the drive up the mountain is challenging with a very narrow winding road.  Also the internet connection has been driving me crazy…very off and on….even using the Wilson Sleek cell booster.  Strange…..we are in the heart of Silicon Valley but the mountain range that holds the San Andreas fault is blocking reception.


But, overall, our time here has been very pleasant.  We got treated to a day in the city that included a trolley ride down to Fisherman’s Wharf.IMG_1945

We were sitting inside as the car went straight up and down…only got pictures through the window.






The wharf is a zoo…..a mass of humanity looking for food and entertainment.  It is difficult to be around so many people after being in the spaciousness of Alaska.  On the sidewalk street performers, mimes, bands and portrait artists divert our attention.



Our time is spent visiting and eating!  Lots of great food! 

We were introduced to Peets Coffee, Cookie Butter and Trader Joe’s.

Before it’s too late, here are a few pictures from our drive south toward the bay area.


These elk were grazing next to the beach….a very strange sight for us!


Lunch time!


Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State park is a 31 mile section of the old 101 highway.  We stopped to get an up close view of the big trees.



We started east yesterday.…..planning to to take I-80 all the way to Colorado.

It’s a relief to be heading back east, or at least be heading away from the west coast!  There are too many people crammed into one continuous town!

We made it to Rollins Lake in Colfax,  CA yesterday and opted for an electric hook-up to run the AC.  First time the air conditioner has been on since last September in Kansas!

Looking forward to another great visit with friends in CO after getting through Nevada, Utah and Wyoming!