Tuesday July 1
your roving reporter Terry
have settled into a routine, living our daily lives, working a bit, playing
a bit, relaxing a lot; Lots of emphisis on relaxing. Ron and I have
gotten so relaxed that we have failed you our readers by not posting in
a more timely manner. With the enqueries starting to come about our
health and well being it is time to update the posting.
As many of you know Ron and
I are staying in central Iowa for the summer. I get visitation rights
to my shop equipment, Lathes, table saw, shaper, jointer, drill press,
ect. ect. I salvaged a fairly large log segment from the Quartzsite
recycling center last winter and have been splitting small pcs from it
to use in the wood lathe; I think that it might be desert ironwood.
So far I have been making
file handles, other small tool handles for the Quartzsite
Gem and Mineral Club and now have started to turn the spools used for
the wire knitting; I will quit making them when I have a couple of dozen
made, enough to last the Rock Club through the next year. Not showing
a lot if imagination in my wood turning, some day I will have to
try to do wooden pens, but that takes a bit of set up and tooling.
To many other projects this summer for that to happen.
The weather here is
finally starting to stabilize; expecting hot and humid in the next week-
normal weather for Iowa. Thought for a while that we were in a Monsoon
zone, it rained and rained and rained some more. It is depressing
to drive through the country and look into the farm fields and see the
large pot holes filled with water where nothing will be grown this summer.
Even more depressing is to
consider the thousands of families who have lost their homes and lifetimes
of photos, keepsakes and posessions to the flood waters. Many of
these families and individules are the least able to afford this kind of
loss. Lots of older homes, which translated to affordable housing are now
lost or damaged.
Ron and I lived a large part
of our lives in Eastern Iowa in or near Cedar Rapids, and the areas that
flooded have never flooded in our life time, or the the life times of most
of the people who lived there.
We have not yet seen
much of the urban flood damage; The worst of it is in Eastern Iowa, Cedar
Rapids and Iowa City. The levees in Des Moines for the most part
did their intended job and kept the waters back. No consolation for
those who had the levee fail. The waters of the Des Moines River
finally stopped flowing over the emergency spill way this week; Now
the Corp of Engineers will be able to control the water flows through Des
Moines for the time being. Have to hope for no further torrential
The local rock colectors
have been mentioned on the News in the past week; they are excited about
the limestone layers that have been peeled back in the Saylor Lake emergency
flood way. There are going to be a lot of new fossiles exposed by
the flood waters. After the floods of 1993 the fossil collectors
had a grand time with all of the material exposed by that flood; For a
time the gorge dug in the flood way was a minor tourist attraction, it
will be the same this time.
Have finally started
to work fairly steadily for the last 4 weeks; Prior to that I had
the chance to buff out the oxidization on the trailers gel coat exterior,
and to paste wax the exterior. We will have to get the rug shampooer
out one of these afternoons and get the carpets cleaned. Ron and
I are thinking of trading the trailer, and want to get everything in top
shape for the appraisal.
Currently working on
a couple of bath room remodels; both were jobs that required a complete
gutting of the existing bathroom back to the wall studs. Waiting
to get back in after the tile layer on the first job and have a bit more
dry wall work on the second along with a bit of plumbing.
The garden is a weedy mess,
it has been so muddy of late that I have not been unable to run the tiller
through the rows. Looked through the garde a bit last evening and
we will have green beans shortly, then a few radishes and leaf lettuce.
Noticed a few very small green tomatos and a small zuccini along with a
bit of broccoli starting to come on. Lots of goodies from the garden
to anticipate, with the tomatos being the most anticipated; Nothing compares
to a real vine ripened garden tomato for flavor.
Saturday July 5
survived the 4th after going into Ankeny for some goodies and I got a haircut
at Wal*Mart. Yes the hair salon was open even on the 4th. We did call ahead
as we are 20 miles north of town and like everyone we are planing our trips
more carefully these days. I felt like I was getting ill so we came back
and relaxed for the rest of the day. I was a little sick to my stomach
and it was also like my arthritis was acting up. We had planned to go visit
some people at Saylorville lake who were camping there but I didn't feel
up to it at all. So I felt sorry for myself in the recliner and Terry did
his thing on the computer. He loves to read Harry Potter like stories on
the web and when I see him at it, I give him hell and tell him to be more
creative with his surfing. He made a batch of his famous lima backed beans
and I did have some of them later. He did them in the oven but his best
ones are when he does them in the dutch oven outside over coals.
is having one of the best weather events in a long time with no rain forcast
and mild temps, slight breeze, and very low humidity for the entire holiday
weekend. It is about time people these are able get out and enjoy
this period with friends and family. This spring has been the wetest on
record and the crops are slow growing. No Iowa sweet corn for the 4th.
Need a couple of more weeks for it to get ready. So Florida corn is getting
shipped in. It does look good, nice and big but we have not bought any.
Not a good thing to eat when one is trying to get blood sugar levels down.
It is just perfect about 80 during the day and it even cools down at night
to the mid 60s. You couldn't ask for more perfect camping weather. We mostly
leave our 5er parked in this spot for the summer as it is very to go backed
into. Have to back from the main county gravel road all the way up a coured
lane between trees and then a big sharp turn between two buildings. Takes
forever. But getting better at it. It has full hookups. Terry dug in a
septic tank by hand the first year.
park the 5er right below where you see the red sat dish icon.
we have to back all the way from the road.
Now today on the 5th. it
is cleaning day as it is not too hot or humid and we might be able to no
have to turn on the A/C. So time to shampoo the carpet. It needs to be
done so we can show the 5er to the dealer so they can make an offer for
trade in. Terry is doing it while I post to the blog. Sounds like a good
deal to me.
Later we want to be able
to sit outside and listen to Garrison Keillor and a A Prairie Home Companion
as it is his last radio show of the season. Great weather and feeling acomplished
when the 5er has been cleaned will call for a campfire and relaxing around
it. After Garrison maybe listen to golden oldies on the radio around a
crackling fire. Now that's living.
I have been spending lots
of time updating the main site www.hitchitch.com
Went through and looked at each site to make sure they were still being
updated and how often. I was surprised that just a few had stopped posting.
Most were still going strong. I would have thought with the fuel situation
more would have hung it up. But I think the ones who blog seem to
have the extra funds, or have figured out how to still make this lifestyle
work for them.
I have been reading the Alaska
journals closely, even getting Street and Trips up to follow the routes.
A couple of the posters have been meeting up with each other from time
to time and it has been fun reading their blogs. I know we are not planning
to get up to Alaska anytime soon so it is like being along for the ride.
A couple of them are really good in their description of the adventures.
I spend so much time on the mechanics of the main site, I skip over actully
reading the content of the blogs. I need to spent more time reading what
they are posting. Going through and checking the sites for cennectivity
I found many I want to go back and spend time exploring.
I am also having fun with
the AdSence for Search function I added to the listing sections. I produce
a list of the sites that I want it to search and it will go in depth
into those sites and search when someone requests a search word or
phrase. How cool is that. I had a search function in the past but I had
to list the sites and standby while it read all the sites content to build
a data base. Then when they added content I would have to rebuild the database
again. Google AdSence Search is a much cleaner program to set up.
I have it set up to search the sites that are updated daily or weekly for
now. Still playing with the syntax for the database list.
Well the floor is done and
it looks like I'm backed in the corner and the only way out is to walk
over wet carpet. May just have to web it some more.
Sunday July 6
The thought hit us as I was
feeling better and had a little happy hour while listening to Garrison
why not head over to Saylorville Lake and meet up with Derek and John and
the group camping there. So we rushed and put some firewood in the PU and
headed out planning a quick stop in Polk City for a bag of Ice. This
group of friends has been gathering at the group campgrounds for several
years as they converge from all over the midwest for this event.
They rent one of the circle group sites in the picture below which make
it convent for campers to socialize. We had a great time sitting around
a campfire getting to know a great bunch of people all taking about their
travels. Several of which had been to Qusrtzsite over the years.
From Google earth
Now taking it easy reading
the Sunday paper and watching the weather as storms are moving across the
In Iowa you watch the weather
and leave the weather radio on when it clouds up.
Wednesday July 9
been busy (Ron) worked till 4 AM last night and this afternoon working
on the union web site I do. www.cwa7102.org
Programing a system server so we could have a mailinglist workable so we
can send emails to the union members as we are in the start of negotiations
of a new three year contract between CWA and Qwest. People can sign
up online so we can send notices out to them on updates as needed. The
old mailinglist system went down when the email system was moved to a new
server. I had to rebuild a mailinglist on a new server I also control.
Anyway got it done and it works great and the union officers are very happy,
and so am I. I am retired from Qwest and this contract will address retiree
health coverage. Untill we get national health insurance, continued coverage
is critical from the business sector.
if I can get my mind to unwind I hope to get a good nights rest, as we
are planning to head out early on Thursday for South Dakota so I can get
my SD drivers lic renewed. We can drive to Vermillion and back in one day
and not have to rush too bad. Just have to walk into the courthouse and
take an eye test and get a new 5 year lic for I think $8. It's a fun drive
and as Terry sez a family outing.
Friday July 11
had a fun drive to SD through the lush green sections of western
Iowa. It has been years since we have driven through this area. Iowa really
is the food basket of the world. The farms look very prosperous with the
price of corn and beans way up.
stopped on the way back from Wermillion, SD at Sioux City at the Sargeant
Floyd Monument. We were not in a rush. Isn't that the way it is supposed
to be with fulltimers. We also like driving through the Loess
Hills which rise 200 feet above the flat plains forming a narrow
band running north-south 200 miles along the Missouri River.
did not drive the diesel PU, but our 94 Pontiac Grand Am 4 cil coup which
has 95 thousand miles on and it looks and drives like the day it was new.
The steering is titght and firm and a blast to drive in the hills of western
IA. We only drive it in the summer when back in the midwest to save on
drove it along with our truck and 5er for the first two years when we went
to the RGV in TX and the next year to our fitst year in AZ and then got
out the pencil and did the math. For what we paid to drive both down and
back we could could drive the diesel PU anywhere we wanted (on side trips
while wintering) and still be WAY ahead. (and that was before the price
fo fuel went out of sight) So the car stays stored for use only when we
are back in the summer.
getting a lic in SD is a snap. Walked into the county court house, went
right to the basement little room where they are set up two days a week.
There were only two of us in the place. I filled out the form, took it
right up front and took an eye test and got my picture taken and walked
out within 10 min with a new lic. Can't beat that except for the fact it
cost a whole $8 for 5 years. I noted she took my money before she gave
the eye test. I would post a picture of my new lic if not for for the ugly
mug shot of me and a threat that a kid might try to download a copy to
use to buy beer. Now that I think about that, don't think the kid would
look like a overweight ugly old fulltimer. I suspect most sales of beer
for underage youth goes out the back door and a drivers lic isn't needed.
Anyway that was the way it was when I was underage sooooo many years ago
in a small town in rural eastern Iowa. Helped when you knew the bar owners
older sons. Bring back any thoughts to your own youth when life as
we remember it was simpler? Or was it? Just that we're still
alive should be cause for a celebration.
Ops, you found me in the
shot reading the signs at the Sargeant Floyd Monument. If you notice (the
two higher walkway posts) ALL the lights were ON even the big spot
lights for night viewing the monument. What was that about. It was free
to visit, and no one but us there. Now that I look at the picture,
I remember the brown visitor sign-in box down the path on the right. I
should have put a note in it about the waste of power.
Stepping up to a higher perch
on my soap box. (Have to be careful I might fall off) I also love
it when in big box store parking lots, all the parking lot lights are on
during the day. Some people at the service desks look like, who cares,
when I tell them. And we are all trying to be greener? Many are trying,
much still to be done. (It's a whole lot more than yelling at the kids...
turn out the light when you leave a room) We need to do that as a country.
Good luck for the rest of
us with McMansions being built by the rich wasting (stealing) energy from
the rest of the world for their own selfishness. When off the grid
on solar power (as we do for many months each winter) us RVers know what
power use is all about. OK as I stumble down off the soap box for now as
I sip on my margarita which is tasting good as we are having a relaxing
From the monument site (see
below at the flag pole) looking north toward Sioux City, IA
Looking west from the bluff
over the Missouri river at the monument.
Now that we are back it is
hot, as it does get in IA in summertime. Mid to upper 90s. with humidity,
you can cut with a knife. We hope you are far from the fires out
west, and cool by a mountain stream just big enough for great fly fishing.
Now saying that we hate you Jealous is not a enviable trait....
But let me tell you right
now after going to the Country
Coaches web site and viewing their new MH with the balcony... screw
the rest of the (green) world, I want one when we win a VERY large lottery.
But only when we own our own oil well to fuel it. From the site
(heated floors in the two bathrooms) I can dream about this
when we are boondocking in the BLM (being green) while still in our, top
of the line 5er.
Terry just helped me off
the floor as I fell off the soap box and tossed it outside, as it was getting
in the way inside the 5er.
Monday July 21
is it with Mondays I just don't like. Is it I still remember what
they were like when working. That and I still think of weekends as I used
to, as days off from the grind. But now Mondays are just a continuation
of the weekend and I feel guilty having nothing planned. Oh I know a whiner.
has been hot as
it always is in Iowa in July and August. and...
we went to Tama, IA to see Terry's folks and have supper at the buffet
at the Meskwaki Indian
casino. The pastime for many older Iowa retirees is to hang out, play
what they tell us) slots to pass the time. They like it and can afford
it so who is to tell them are abdicated to this scam. OOPS. did I say gambling
was a rip off proposition. It's kind of sad to see people, with eyes
glazed over, starring at the 1600 video slot machines on a nice Sunday
afternoon. You can't smoke in any bars or public places except in casinos
in Iowa. The state gets part of the profits, might be part of the reason?
the food wasn't half bad (much improved) and his folks look great at 81
years young. His younger brother lives on the farm with them (and farms
it when he's not doing his in town government job) so is there if needed.
Since his brother is there we can fulltime without worry. That's a big
obligation many have to deal with when thinking of going fulltime.
updating the union web site I do as contract talks are in progress. No
update from the bargaining team since last Wednesday. That's a little strange
so am concerned how things are going. Health Ins. is on the table.
keeping the mind busy thinking about trading our 5er for a new one. Got
an offer from the local dealer last week and waiting to make a counter
offer to it as they say they are getting the same model we want to come
in any time now for us to look at. We would still have to order one
with the options which are must haves for us. We want the 12 cu sq. ft
fridge among other things and that just doesn't appear on spec 5ers showing
up on dealers lots. If we are going to live fulltime in this new luxury
5er it might as well have all the options we want. Plus the factory is
in a slowdown/shutdown mode due to lack of orders. NuWa has an owners forum
(that little tid bit was posted by teh CEO) and I have been asking some
pointed questions, and today I deleted my posting account, as it was turning
out to be a little to much of a love fest of HitchHiker owners for me.
That's ok. The forum is still a great option, not offered at many other
RV companies. The CEO did come back on the forum and address some of my
concerns. I respect the owner as being honest. I think NuWa makes the best
5er for the money and am a loyal owner and will buy my next one from them.
SEE BELOW for update.
bottom line is it's Monday its hot again today. We were up at 4 AM closing
up the slides and seeking shelter from the 80 + winds and tornado warnings
the blew through last night. So frustrated is the mood for today.
know get over it as these are not big deals compared to anyone else's problems.
I'm having fun (sitting in the AC) reading and viewing the blog adventures
of the listings on my main site www.hitchitch.com
They all seem to be where it is cool. Especially in Alaska.
Tuesday July 21
and 22 (I just keep
adding to the post)
have agreed on price and will be signing the papers on Thursday for a new
a video walkthrough of the NuWa HitchHiker 348
SB DA unit we are ordering.
Main site www.nuwa.com
on our unit:
cu. ft. side by side refrigerator
Steel Package (refer front, microwave, and stove front)
pump for A/C with digital thermostat
ceiling exchanged for vinyl panel ceiling
Tire with crank up hoist carrier
Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter/Charger
Safety Glass windows (exch. for tinted)
The couch is a full 74 inches.
Not just a love seat. You can lay down on it.
The local dealer is getting
one in on Thursday so we will get a change to see the floor plan and fit
and finish before we order one. The color decore is called "Regal"
None of that flowery pattern so common in trailers.
decor featuring shades of beige and dark blue as an accent.
New Standard Features
for 09 in the Discover America units
Solid Surface Integrated
sinks (kitchen and vanity)
Flush Stove Top
30” OTR Microwave
Square Raised Panel Doors
with New Double Radius Profile
Glass Brow Overhead Doors
will replace Cathedral Style Doors
Oxgenics Hand Held Shower
32” LCD TV (all models)
Trailair Equa-Flex Suspension
Compartment for up to (4)
Aluminum Wheels (except
Black Window Frames (White
Frames available on build orders)
New Style Water Pump
With trade in of my
03 HH II 33RKTG Deluxe (non LS)
Orig. chairs and recliners
stored and not used in the unit.
03 HHII has 4 solar panels
with Solar Boost 25-amp controller.
(2 panels reserved to be
used on new unit)
2000 w Xantrex inverter/converter
w remote controller
6ea 12 v AGM sealed batteries.
Link 10 battery monitor.
Will take two of the the
four panels from the old 5er to AZ and add another one and have Discount
Solar install them. The new Pure Sine Wave Inverter/Charger
already be in the new unit.
The big thing is we will
have to remove the satellite internet dish from the roof and get a new
mounting plate and remount it on the new 5er. We will do this ourselves.
I download the install procedure for the mounting plate today from Motosat
and it looks doable.
So if you are looking for
a great used 03 HitchHiker II. All set up for boondocking, I can tell you
the dealer who will have it for sale when we get our new one.
It has cooled down a bit,
with less humidity, it won't last but good for a couple of days. Still
it might rain a few inches on Thursday they say... we are getting used
to it. After 6 months in AZ each season we get used to NO rain so
going between such extremes is an experience. So you want us to live in
the cold and snow up north in the winter and stay in AZ for 120 temps in
the summer. I think we shall move with the seasons and do just fine and
not complain so much. See if that happens. Complain less, not on
have always been a reality checker with my glass half full... so when it
overflows, it's that much better. Think someone must have stuck some gum
(sugar free of course) in the hole in mine since it seems to be full enough
for us to order a new 5er. Something is wrong here... But it feels
good, but the wait will suck. But winter in AZ in a new unit, as the say
Watching the hurricane in
south TX, as we met many fine people down there, who we hope are not in
harms way. Many tornados and with the high wind and 20 inches or more of
rain for flooding.
Thursday July 31
here) Some days you just have to go with the flow and let others take care
of you. On Monday I woke up at 4 AM with my heart beating fast and
irregular. Off we go from Huxley, IA to downtown Des Moines 30 miles
Methodist Medical Center where I spent 8 hours in the ER while they tired
to get it to slow down and beat correctly. They were about to put me under
and shock my heart, (think I would call that a reboot and reformat) but
the meads finally kicked in and my pulse dropped back to normal. I could
see it on their faces they were glad they didn't have to do a reboot on
me. They did two IKGs, an xray and ultrasound heart scan. Heart strong
just going nuts. I was never in pain and am now doing fine. I might have
been having this problem on and off for a long time and didn't know it.
So now have meds to take if it comes back. Did you know a about 2.2 million
Americans have atrial
fibrillation, putting them at risk of clots and strokes. About 15 percent
of strokes occur in people with AF.
Atrial Fibrillation Overview very good info from eMedicineHealth.com
in the slow lane.
headed out this Wednesday AM so we could get to the Heart Center next to
the Methodist Hospital as they had scheduled a treadmill test. As we were
driving I said call them IS may appointment for 10:45 or 2:45. Ya
it was for 2:45 so we went on a family outing, did shopping, picked up
our new glasses that were ready, went to Grays Lake city park and several
other fun places you just don't go to unless you are a tourist. So we played
tourist as we had several hours to kill. Well I did great on the
treadmill. They checked (Iowa Clinic) it has ALL electronic records and
determined I didn't need to do the blood tests as they were just done on
May 20 and the Lipid results were shown to be way above normal as in good.
I had fasted since the night before, at that time it was 3 PM. and no fasting
was needed. But I wasn't hungry, and Terry hadn't eaten in solidarity.
So when we got home we had pizza for supper.
a great hot next few days as that is the weather now in IA . Thinking
of getting one of those cheap Walmart or Kmart swimming pools with water
pump for $150 and set it up and have a little kids water fun. Young
at heart... Since I still have a working one.
hindsite I'm so glad we went to the ER to get me checked out. I was afread
I would be feeling better by the time we got there and they wouldn't find
anything. Boy was I wrong. I had a serious problem and they knew it right
away and it took many hours to get it resolved. The hospital staff were
great and I just laid back and let them work on me.
this post I have learned more than I wanted to as I read the info provided
by the links. I now know why the above scans and tests were done and that
this is a scary life event.
Do not smoke. (stopped smoking years ago) Maintain a healthy weight. (I'm
in trouble there since I stopped smoking) Make nutritious, low-fat foods
the basis of what you eat. Take part in moderately strenuous physical activity
for at least 30 minutes every day. (again I'm in trouble) Control high
blood pressure and high cholesterol. (My lipids test results are very good)
(blood pressure under meds is good) Use alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Use caffeine in moderation, if at all. Avoid other stimulants. (I don't
drink coffee and now to cut out the booze. Ouch). (Found Diet Rite
Cherry Cola Zero has no caffeine, carbs, and no sodium) And it tastes
we get older it gets harder to maintain our bodies and stop abusing them
like we did when we were younger.
all have a great time out there and if you still can... abuse and enjoy
yourself. Just do it without caffeine, transfats, sugar, salt, booze,
oh and smokes. If you like it STOP IT.