Sunday, April 10, 2005

10:05 AM Sunday April 10, 2005


Phil and I received a wonderful treat while visiting his nephew and family in Kansas. Rick and Tammy drove us north to see the new Cabela’s in Kansas City, Kansas. We’ve enjoyed their catalog for years but were blown away by this colossal retail store. After standing outside in wonder at the bronze sculpture named “Majestic Monarchs” our mouths dropped open and all we could say was, “Wow!” when we stepped through the doors. Immediately we were confronted with a mountain straight ahead of us. The room towers three stories high down the center of the building to accommodate this enormous alpine scene they call “Conservation Mountain”. It has a waterfall, stream and a variety of life-size North American animals on this 30-ft. man-made peak and was created as a tribute to sportsmen and women. In addition to all the regular merchandise you might expect, there is a full-service fly shop; a gift shop; a gun library where fine guns from around the world can be admired, purchased, and sold; a breathtaking display of the African Big Five – elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, Cape buffalo and lion – as well as other African plains game, including a 16-ft. crocodile; an archery shooting range; boat showroom and service area as well as a restaurant (serving many exotic foods) and a country store that sells the best fudge and black licorice we’ve ever tasted, I might add. Just one of the dozens of displays, the “Mule Deer County Museum” is a feast for the eyes of the world's largest collection of life-size trophy mule deer in their natural surroundings, including two world records and numerous state and provincial records. We strolled through the aquariums – in awe of the walk-through tanks containing 65,000 gallons of water and hundreds of incredible fish native to Kansas and the Midwest. Phil took dozens of pictures and I plan to share that album with some of you real soon. Even if you don’t spend a cent, you are welcome at Cabela’s and it is a pause well worth making in your travels.
Cabela's newest retail store in Kansas City, Kansas. Posted by Hello
Giant catfish in aquarium. Posted by Hello
Every foot of wall space is covered with thousands of stuffed fish from all over the world. Posted by Hello
One small part of the enormous displays inside Cabela's Mule Deer Country Museum.  Posted by Hello
Mountain Monarchs plaque outside the newest Cabelas store in Kansas City, Kansas. Posted by Hello
Phil, admiring this magnificent bronze rendition of three trophy Elk in front of the new Cabela's store in Kansas City, Kansas. Posted by Hello
Beautiful 19th century architecture on Main Street in Iola, Kansas. Each one in it's own stage of restoration. Notice some of the bay windows are covered up with wood; for protection? This is "tornado alley" afterall.  Posted by Hello
Look who woke up in Arizona (all two feet of it)!! First week of April in Maricopa at John and Carol's desert abode. Phil took this picture while I stayed inside Don and Ardella's motorhome and watched out the window They told me it WAS NOT a rattlesnake. Sure ....  Posted by Hello

Friday, April 08, 2005

10:16 PM Friday April 8, 2005

Sometimes you just get plain lucky in this world and because all my stars must have been aligned, they shined their good-luck light on me today. Can you believe Phil and I rendezvoused with my real-life mentor (aka hero) today in Stockton, CA. after making arrangements via e-mail and our cell phones? George, creator of the blog, “The Adventures of Tioga and George”, met with us just outside of the city and led the way to a restaurant down the road where we parked our Pace Arrow and he parked Ms. Tioga (come to find out, they are long-lost cousins-both being 1991 Fleetwood descendents) on the street. It was raining buckets but George and I managed to stay dry using umbrellas (Phil got wet) as we scampered across the busy road for some intense conversation and a bite to eat. It’s hard to explain my happiness at meeting and talking to the man who through his pictures and writing on his website made it possible for me to learn how to become a successful fulltime Rver. We have been reading George’s blog daily for nearly two years and when at last we followed in his footsteps, our dream of living full time in an RV and traveling the country became a reality. It was a wonderful afternoon (Thanks for the yummy chocolate chip cookies back inside Ms. Tioga, George!). After nearly four hours (which went by way too fast) savoring our new friendship we returned to the road, each of us looking forward to our next adventure.
Following George to the restaurant. That's his two-wheel "toad" on the back.  Posted by Hello
George and Phil beside Ms. Tioga in Stockton, CA. Posted by Hello
George and Joy beside Ms Tioga in Stockton, CA. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

10:00 PM Wednesday April 6, 2005

Our plans to return to WA state from Kansas via Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho had to be scratched due to winter storms marching across the mid-section of the US. We headed southwest as quickly as possible to avoid any bad weather but driving I-40 west from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque, New Mexico the following pictures show what we encountered. As they say, "the best laid plans ... ". After turning south on I-25 the weather began to improve much to our relief and sunny Arizona did not disappoint.
Oh no! It's snowing but thankfully it's only accumulating on the windshield, not on the ground ... yet. Posted by Hello
White in all directions ... snow blowing sideways. Posted by Hello
Remind me again how soon we'll be in sunny Arizona! Posted by Hello

Monday, April 04, 2005

Here is a picture of the display panel (the top one) that is no longer functioning correctly. Posted by Hello

11:34 AM Monday April 4, 2005

We're back in beautiful Yuma, Arizona. We're waiting for a call from the solar people to keep us in the loop regarding our problem which we know now, is not just "our" problem. They have had another customer who reported a failure with the same piece of equipment. If a solution has been found, we may be traveling to Vista, CA (to the manufacturing plant) for a replacement or reprogramming "fix" ... if not, we'll continue to stay on hold, traveling north to WA and wait for the company to come up with a solution. Once that happens, they will call us and either send us a new part or walk Phil through the motions of reprogramming the solar software via telephone. Fortunately, our solar panels continues to work perfectly; we just can't see what they're doing! This particular panel, that tells us the status of the system, battery-wise (charged, discharged percentages, etc.) has ceased to function. We learned from our installers here in Yuma (and Phil had already figured this out) that it will work without this piece of equipment ... and it has.
Beautiful, warm and sunny weather in Yuma. A little gusty wind today but temperature still in the 80s. Last night we had dinner at my Aunt Elaine's home (we're in an RV park right across the street from her place). Her aunt, Lillian, who is 92 years young, joined us and a great time was had by all. Lillian is a former RVer and snowbird who lives in our home town, Shelton, WA during the summer and she'll be flying back to WA in just a few days with her adorable little white poodle, Ellie.